Lockdown part 2: The industry reacts

With the start of a new, month-long, national lockdown looming Scott Dyson, managing director of Design House in Leeds, reveals how they plan to operate and how it will impact business



How will new lockdown measures in your area affect you and your business? 

The business will close its doors and we will be left with no option but to furlough some staff during the next four weeks. I will personally continue to work to manage the supply of products to both our contract and retail installations during the lockdown.

Will you be opening the showroom or closing your doors until December?

The doors will be locked but with having such a large showroom we can offer safe appointment only consultations following social distancing rules but if customers require it, we have the capacity to offer virtual appointments. This is essential so that we show our customers we can order and install them in the new year. The business will mostly slow down and in some cases press the pause button until the current lockdown is over.

What do you think the lockdown will do to demand? 

I think most suppliers learned from the last lockdown and will continue to trade to help ease pressure on supply and more importantly be open to accept deliveries on incoming stock. The current lockdown could help some suppliers catch up with stock levels meaning when we all start to fully trade again and our doors open stock is in a better position.

How will new lockdown measures affect projects already in mid-flow? 

We have communicated with all our current clients and ensured them we will continue to work and finish any install, we have also contacted all suppliers to confirm how and if they are trading through the next four weeks.

Are you worried about the future of your business following the latest coronavirus lockdown measures?

Our order book is strong, but we have no idea of when or if we will ever be back to ‘normal service’ and what affect this will have on a consumer’s thought process on parting with large sums of money. Hopefully the lack of holidays and money being spent on entertainment will be funnelled into the KBB sector as people decide to invest in their homes.

Any other comments on the current coronavirus situation? 

My only reservation is if suppliers try to furlough staff and promote a full service. This was misleading through the last lockdown and left me feeling some suppliers wanted best of both worlds – as much business as possible on the smallest amount of staff possible. All this did was frustrate us as retailers and created more work and cost time and money which we simply can’t spare.

Have you heard the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast ? It’s all about whether kbb retailers are choosing to open in the new lockdown and how they think it might affect business. Listen using the player below or search ‘kbbreview’ in your podcast app of choice…

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