kbb Birmingham 2020: ‘Our relationship with our retailers is critical’, says Perrin and Rowe

Exhibitor interview: Nigel Palmer, marketing director, Perrin and Rowe


Q: Why are trade shows such as this one important for your business?

A: When planning a new kitchen or bathroom, the consumer’s most important relationship is with their retailer – not us, as a manufacturer. So our relationship with our retailers – the owners, managers, sales consultants and designers – is critical. By exhibiting at kbb, we demonstrate our commitment to the industry and reach out to as many retailers as possible.


Q: Why should retailers come to shows like this? What are the benefits to them?

A: kbb always provides a good snapshot of product trends, with many new ranges on display. Most importantly, kbb provides a forum for retailers to talk directly to manufacturers, improving understanding and identifying commercial opportunities. For any retailer feeling jaded after a hard 2019, kbb should inspire and re-energise!


Q: How’s business compared with last year?

A: Perrin and Rowe had a good 2019, but there is no doubt that political and economic uncertainty took the edge off the market in the second half of the year. We are very positive going into 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: The housing market remains a key driver for the industry, and transaction numbers remain low, especially for premium properties. This may not improve in the immediate future, which means market conditions will continue to be challenging. The industry needs to keep innovating, supporting quality and craftsmanship (which add real value), and focusing single-mindedly on the consumer.


Q: How do you think the relationship between supplier and customer is changing? 

A: The customer is more informed than ever, inspired by Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and websites. The best retailers take this on board, becoming a partner in the design journey and offering a guiding hand. In many cases, this leads to brilliant projects, perfectly tailored to the individual.

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