Smart home a ‘huge opportunity for retailers’

The growth of smart home technology offers independents significant business opportunities, according to industry experts.

Speaking at the kbbreview Retail & Design Conference at kbb Birmingham, Stuart Tickle (pictured far left), managing director of distributor AWE Europe said that smart home technology adds real value to a retailers’ proposition and urged specialists to become experts in order to benefit from this change in the appliance market.

“In the UK, there is an estimated 1,250 integrators of smart-home technology and that market is worth just under £1 billion per year,” he said. “As things get smarter and more complicated, the need for knowledge increases.

“Consumers want smart-home technology because it gives them an experience that goes beyond what they can get from standard products, but they need expert advice – so it’s good news for independents. There is a fantastic opportunity here for retailers to add value to their proposition, if they adapt and become experts in this field.”

Fellow panellist Owain Harrison (pictured far right), head of sales and marketing Hoover Candy Baumatic (built-in) agreed, saying: “White goods is an area of the market that has become heavily commoditised. Smart-home technology has to be sold by experts, so the kitchen showroom is the perfect environment for it. Smart-home technology really offers retailers the opportunity to re-engage with the sector and, importantly, make a better margin.”

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