February 9, 2021
A mysterious anti-Wren Kitchens propaganda letter was sent to various independent KBB retailers last week.
There is no call to action on the poster or any details of who sent it. The postmark on the letters indicates that the sender may be based in south Wales. Its content suggests that it may have been sent by an independent retailer concerned about the influence Wren Kitchens has on the market.
The flyer contains various claims about Wren Kitchens, as well as questions to its recipient like ‘Is the KBB industry sleepwalking into an oligopoly, cartel or monopoly?’, ‘Will (or can) Trading Standards take action?’, and ‘How will the small independent retailer survive over the next decade?’
The letters have been received by various high-end retailers who shared their letters on LinkedIn, including Barry Collins, MD of Schwarz Kitchens, Tony Robson of Day True, and Shehryar Khan of the owner of Sheraton Interiors.
Collins said: “My first thought with the leaflet was ‘what is the author hoping to achieve?’ – There was no call to action, or rally to join. However while there were some inaccuracies, it really got me thinking about my business and our offering, and how we differentiate ourselves. And as a result, I have made a few subtle changes to the products we sell and the way we sell them, to further accentuate the gap between ourselves and players like Wren. So maybe that was the author wanted all along?”
There are also some claims in the flyer about who supplies Wren with appliances and surfaces and the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) is also mentioned a couple of times in the flyer about its association with Wren Kitchens. The BiKBBI has several large kitchen multiples as its retail partners, including Wren, B&Q, and Moores.
Customer complaints are also mentioned in the flyer, including news headlines about a couple being in a three-year battle with the company as well as references to the ‘Wren Kitchen Disasters’ Facebook group –a closed network of 4,100 Wren customers.
Questions about Wren’s discounting policy were also raised on the flyer. Images of their discount stickers with deals like ‘Multi-buy 50% off kitchen units’, ‘15 % of all hobs’, and ‘Up to 25% off all quartz worktops’ take up the majority of the back page.
- Have you received a copy of the letter? Contact the editor [email protected]
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