Calls for industry to help build ‘war chest’ for independents

KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert (pictured) has called for manufacturers and suppliers to pledge their support to a ‘war chest’ to help fund an advertising campaign to promote independent retailers.

Hibbert – the managing director of KSL Sudbury – launched the initiative on LinkedIn in a bid to support independent KBB businesses after government lockdown procedures to help contain the spread of Covid-19 forced showrooms to close.

Speaking to kbbreview about the initiative, Hibbert said: “In light of this extremely challenging trading period, I would love to get a war chest together to help promote independents to consumers.

“It would be great to get as many manufacturers and suppliers on board to fund an advertising campaign that supports small KBB retail businesses. It will boost the independent sector when it really needs it and in turn would bring great business to the brands that supported them.

“I’m confident that there will be real demand for kitchens and bathrooms when we come out of the other side of this situation, so, if we can capitalise on that demand by creating a cross-platform advertising campaign promoting independent showrooms across the UK then the whole industry stands to benefit

“To the manufacturers and suppliers that say independents are the lifeblood of the industry, this is an opportunity for you to help keep us alive.”

Although still very much in the early stages of development, the idea has already garnered support from a number of leading KBB brands on LinkedIn.

In response to Hibbert’s LinkedIn post, Stephen Johnson, managing director of Quooker, said: “I am happy to confirm that Quooker will pledge some of its annual marketing budget to drive consumers into high-street kitchen showrooms when the virus has been banished. When you have a list of pledges, let me have the info and I will have the media agency prepare a draft schedule and titles for consideration if you feel that will move matters on.”

Simon Bodsworth, managing director Daval, confirmed his support for the initiative: “I couldn’t agree more, Richard. I think this will define a generation and propel the quality retailers on to the next level, with customers seeking an experience and actively choosing retailers and products who have authenticity and provenance. The quality independent retailer will only thrive after this, especially when you see what’s going on with the mass market right now.”

Owain Harrison, country manager for Novy, responded with: “Novy in the UK was built by support from the independents, so we absolutely support promoting the sector both during this crisis and afterwards in better times to come.”

On behalf of Insinkerator Kevin Carr, UK sales director, also offered to support the campaign: “Independent Kitchen retailers are the heartbeat of the industry and should be supported! Count us in.”

Other brands that showed their support for initiative in LinkedIn include Uform, Neue Alno, Cosentino, Dunavox, CDUK.

The initiative is open to anyone that wants to give any money to help raise the profile of independent retailers. If you are interested in donating to the fund or offering support in any other way, please email Richard Hibbert: [email protected]

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