Sanipex UK to close High Street showrooms

Sanipex has confirmed it will shut three of its own showrooms by the end of February.

Speaking to kbbreview, Richard Nicholls, Sanipex UK and European sales and marketing director, said the move comes as the Dubai-based firm looks to focus on growing its independent retail network and projects business in the UK and abroad.

Nicholls said that the Sanipex design centres were intended to raise the profile of its brands, including its design-led luxury collection Bagnodesign, in a crowded market when it came to the UK six years ago.

Its concessions in Heal’s furniture store in central London is earmarked for closure, as well as its design centre in Redbrick Mill West Yorkshire and its Bradford centre.

It will keep its Harrogate and Chelsea showrooms open to maintain a presence in the North and South where architects and interior designers can come to view the products.

Nicholls said having established a good foothold in the UK, it was now time to pay attention to growing its B2C business through retail partnerships and its network of B2B accounts.

Last November, Sanipex became a member of the IPG buying group, which Nicholls describes as a “big coup” for the firm.

“When we came to the UK, the biggest challenge was to build a recognisable brand so one of the things we did was open a number of High Street outlets to enable us to have locations for potential B2B partners to see our collections,” Nicholls said.

“We never wanted to establish a direct B2C strategy long term.”

Nicholls said the showrooms closures did present a risk of redundancy to some of the employees, but suggested that the business would make every effort to employ them elsewhere in the firm.

Sanipex goes to market with two product brands: Aquaeco, a commercial plumbing solutions brand, and Bagnodesign, which was on display at hotel design show Sleep + Eat last November.

It is also a distributor of two Italian brassware manufacturers, including showerware brand Bossini and multi-finish artisan brassware brand Nicolazzi.

The firm has two franchises in Scotland and is currently on display in about 30 retail partners. Nicholls said the firm would look to double this number in 2019.

Former PWS managing director John Lennon joined Sanipex at the end of August last year in the new role of UK managing director.

Sanipex, which provided the bathrooms for the luxury boutique Seven Hotel in Southend, said Lennon would be focusing on growing the wholesale and projects channels both in the UK and further afield.

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