A direct distribution model will be the future of the bathroom industry, according to one e-tailer.
Julian Smith (pictured), managing director of online retailer Bathroom Takeaway, has claimed that major brands will have to adopt a direct sales business model to stay competitive in a static market.
“Established brands will have no choice,” he explained. “Some of the pure-play distribution channel brands are going to think at some point, ‘We are being so undermined, we’re going to have to go direct’. And more people now want to adopt that.
“It won’t be long before we see a major brand selling direct, because the cost of selling in the market is static for everybody. And if you’re, say, an Ideal Standard of this world, so many people are taking a bite of margin out of that transaction before it gets to the consumer.”
He added that spreading distribution over as many channels as possible is a sensible move for suppliers, as they would have to find ways of generating more revenue and income without increasing their cost base as the market tightens.
Smith also anticipates more collaboration in the market moving forward and said he wouldn’t rule out having big-name brands in his showrooms.
“It wouldn’t surprise me to come back in two years’ time and we’re at a scale where brands can’t ignore us anymore,” he explained. “What we would do is a promotion activity with the brand. I’d be happy to sell a brand with a special offer in its own area of the showroom.”