Knowledge is power

Crucial information is now available free-of-charge to CFA members, says Richard Catt. It’s just one more reason why it makes perfect sense to be a member…

DON’T worry, the title of this month’s article doesn’t mean I’ve finally flipped. I’m not sitting in a winged backed leather chair, stroking a big white fluffy cat, wearing a double-breasted grey suit with no collar and sporting a monocle in a homage to James Bond or Austin Powers. No, nothing like that.

I’m simply referring to the fact CFA members have recently had a quite a lot of industry information made available to them. Information that could assist them in successfully promoting or running their businesses and gaining a competitive advantage.

We’ve ‘upped our game’ in this respect over the past 12 months for several reasons. First, we were simply lacking in data that would allow us to express to government and lobbying organisations the size of the flooring sector, giving us credibility when speaking on matters such as fair payment. Second, we wanted to understand a little more about our members and so did some analysis of our member return. Again, this insight proves very useful in lobbying, and also very helpful in reviewing member benefits and ensuring we’re doing what members want.

Finally, we felt we had more opportunity to understand the wider construction industry, trends, declining areas, growing markets etc and we therefore sought quantifiable intelligence. This knowledge we’ve gained has, of course, been made available to CFA members for FREE.

Our sources are all experts and well respected: The Construction Products Association (CPA), the CFA’s own membership survey and finally Leading Edge* with some extracts from its new Palmer report. You may remember that we worked with Leading Edge last year to help it with data collection for its flooring industry report. In return, we were provided with some high-level data to use.

So, what did we learn? Here are a few extracts of the information CFA members can have if they visit the members area of the CFA website:

  • The construction industry is currently estimated to contribute about 6.5% to the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the UK – Source: CPA
  • The total commercial flooring market is currently estimated to be just under 59m sq m – Source: Leading Edge and the 2017 Palmer Report
  • It’s difficult to translate that into monetary terms, but estimates range between £2-£2.5bn  – Source: CFA
  • Estimates indicate CFA members fit more than 20% of that material, demonstrating their relevance to the flooring sector – Source: CFA
  • Two main growth areas were identified. One of them is LVT – Source: Leading Edge and the 2017 Palmer Report
  • Sectors in decline include retail and office space – Source: Leading Edge and the 2017 Palmer Report and the CPA
  • CFA members employ about 53% of their workforce and correspondingly the other 47% are labour only subcontractors representing a quality supply chain – Source: CFA membership return 2017
  • 189 CFA members reported they had a combined total of more than £15.9m of retention held against them - Source: CFA membership return 2017

We have a lot more information giving insight into the following:

  • The main areas of growth for the flooring market
  • The top three categories of flooring product
  • Which products are in decline and where that market share has moved to
  • Access to a regional construction hotspots map
  • A forecast of the likely loss of workers to the construction industry through retirement in the next 10 years
  • Ongoing economic forecasts and barometers

Of course, you have to be a CFA member to access all this and a whole host of other information we publish through our monthly email update. Did I mention it’s just £613.00 for a contractor and just £1017 plus VAT for a manufacturer for annual membership of the CFA?

The CFA is a leading trade association representing the flooring industry. If you’d like an application pack or further information on the benefits of membership, contact the CFA offices on 0115 9411126, email or apply online at

*Leading Edge Management Consultancy produces the ‘Palmer Report – 2017’ A detailed analysis of the flooring sector aimed at manufacturers seeking to manage and grow market share. For further information contact them on 01252 279990 or email
0115 9411126
Richard Catt is ceo of the CFA