Out with the old, in with the new…

Rugby Fitted Kitchens boss Trevor Scott has been replacing his showroom displays and hopes now he’ll find time to complete projects waiting for him at home

As this year gets under way, both of our showrooms have been undergoing major display changes.

At Warwick, despite the showroom only being 12 months old, we’ve changed one complete display and updated two others. Plus, of course, we’ve sold off the old Neff and Siemens appliances and refitted with the new models.

With the internet being so instant, it’s important to make sure your showroom is up to date and showing the latest trends as soon as is practical – preferably before the competition. Savvy consumers are almost aware of new styles before the exhibition stands in Milan or Cologne have been broken down.

At Rugby, we’ve changed five displays due to new product launches and discontinuations – there’s nothing worse than having to apologise to clients who fall in love with a design they can no longer have. It is also frustrating that some furniture suppliers, especially the Germans, seem to change popular designs at the height of their appeal in the UK and sometimes after they have only been in their catalogues for a season or two at most.

The bigger, full-kitchen displays have successfully been sold to form the whole or a big part of new kitchens for our own clients. The cameos have either sold on eBay or, in the case of one, gone free to a local football club for their new clubhouse in exchange for a banner advert on the centre line and any number of PR opportunities via our own and the club’s website and Facebook pages. Our first charitable good deed of the year.

This has meant, as it should do, that the new displays have been self-financing, apart from their installation costs, which is a small price to pay for ensuring our showrooms continue to be representative of current designs and trends.

Of course, fitter time is always at a premium. Clients must come first, so it’s been a juggling act to ensure the showrooms don’t look a mess for too long and that tangible progress is seen to have been made as different teams drop in and out of the showroom for a few days or a week at a time.

Just like the old saying that the cobbler’s children always go without shoes, showroom fit-outs can go the same way if you don’t keep on top of the job. Getting across the finishing line often requires a big final push, as the pressures of a rapidly-filling fitting diary starts to take a hold on the year.

We are also about to take possession of our new warehouse and offices, which will inevitably soak up more of my time and energy this spring. I’ll no doubt have a few tales to tell of that in the months to come and we’re definitely not using BT this time as our phone and internet provider.

It will therefore come as no surprise to many readers, who I’m sure will have been here before, that my own home projects always seem to be the last to get completed. And with this year’s kbb show at the Birmingham NEC just around the corner, our master bathroom has finally been remodelled.

It was during the last kbb Birmingham exhibition two years ago that I bought myself two complete bathrooms displays from a number of exhibitors. I managed to get the en suite done last year – over a year after purchase – and now the master bathroom has been completed nearly two years on.

And how, you may ask, with all the showroom work going on, have I managed to find the trades to undertake this project?

Well, I brought a couple of expat pals back from France – coals to Newcastle or what!


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