Exhibitor interview: Luis Monfort, UK manager, XTone
Q: Why are trade shows such as this one important for your business?
A: kbb is possibly the biggest and best show in the UK when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms and, as such, is an excellent platform for XTone to be presented to industry key professionals that haven’t had the chance to get to know us. For those who do, we can’t wait to showcase our latest colours for 2020.
Q: Why should retailers come to shows like this? What are the benefits to them?
A: Design trends are constantly evolving and manufacturers need to be leading the way by launching new products to satisfy specifiers and the general public’s needs and requirements. A show like kbb gives retailers a good idea of what is to come in terms of design in just a couple of days.
Q: What are you looking forward to most at this year’s kbb show?
A: XTone is a relatively new product in the UK. We want everyone attending the show, but especially those looking for something fresh, innovative and exclusive, to be able to see the product, and understand its capabilities and the fantastic team behind it.
Q: How’s business compared with last year?
A: 2019 was the first year for XTone in the UK market. It was a year of challenges, building a strong and experienced sales team and introducing the product to the key fabricators and retailers in the country. We couldn’t be more satisfied with the reception of the product in such a demanding market and we are looking forward to more challenges and growth in 2020.
Q: How do you view the health of the UK KBB market? In what ways could it improve and how can the industry improve it?
A: From a manufacturer’s point of view, the political context might be affecting some companies. It is the responsibility for Porcelanosa Group and the other key players in the market to put all necessary efforts into the UK market, so its health and robustness can continue. People will always need a kitchen in their homes and, being the first link in the KBB chain, we manufacturers have to understand that need and answer it.
Q: How do you think the relationship between supplier and customer is changing?
A: Customers nowadays are more informed than ever. Extensive research is carried out online well before visiting any showroom. KBB professionals need to approach the customers in a more technical way and offer them the best balance between quality, service and price.
Q: What are the main challenges you will face as a business this year and how will you overcome these?
A: 2020 is a key year for XTone. Our task is to consolidate our market position within the top sintered stone brands, as well as helping kitchen retailers to understand the multiple benefits of offering our product to their customers. KBB is our first stop in the year, but other exciting things are coming. Keep an eye on our XTone Xperience UK tour!