Former Poggenpohl boss leads tributes to ailing brand

Martin Gill, the former md of Poggenpohl in the UK and its global sales director, has said that he believes the brand will survive following its application for bankruptcy earlier this week.

Gill, who is now the managing director at premium bed retailer And So To Bed, was the public face of the brand in the UK for many years

Posting on LinkedIn he said: “Poggenpohl is the oldest brand in the industry and I am proud to have worked there for 15 years. I’m confident a new buyer will be found and is will rise from the ashes stronger than ever!”

Poggenpohl started insolvency proceedings in Germany earlier this week. Administrators said parent company Poggenpohl Möbelwerke GmbH had seen a ‘considerable decline in orders and sales since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic’.

They confirmed that the company will continue to trade and the search for new investors will begin immediately.

Other industry figures have also commented on the bankruptcy announcement. Dean Weston, managing director at Commodore Design said: “The industry needs design icons like this. At any other time I would bet on a rescue, but fingers crossed for them and their colleagues.”

Retailer Luke Wedgbury, managing director at Coalville Kitchens in Leicestershire, said: “A strong brand, with a good reputation. I hope they find a way through this.”

However, some said there was an inevitability about the state it had found itself in.

“It’s very sad indeed,” said  Stephen Johnson, managing director at Quooker UK. “I can’t help but feel it’s a brand that has lost its edge over recent years – a brand I so admired back in the day when I was selling kitchens.”

Ben Algate, managing director at Whiteleaf Furniture, said: “I still have good friends working for the brand and over the years a lot of my good friends in the industry have passed through the doors.

“[But] in my opinion, the big power furniture brands didn’t come out of the 2007/2008 crash with the same power they had going in. They have had to work harder to justify that big increase in price tag for kitchen furniture against other non-brands emerging that build good stuff.

“People’s awareness has changed and they aren’t so brand savvy like they were 15/20 years ago when it came to furniture. It’s more about the extras, the gadgets, the surfaces, materials etc and that market has been shrinking for a long time.

“The industry has changed and challenges, like the one we have at the moment, will become harder and harder for premium brands to survive because they are losing market share, they need to adapt the product and price points to reflect the current and next generation and appreciate the days of just being a name may not be enough.”

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