EXCLUSIVE: Ideal Standard pulls Sottini out of UK retail market

Global bathroom giant Ideal Standard has announced plans to withdraw the Sottini brand from the UK retail market.

The decision to streamline its portfolio and remove Sottini from the UK retail sector was part of a global business strategy review as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a statement from Ideal Standard, this is one of a number of changes it plans to make to its global business “to support continued growth in the market”.

The new strategy is led by the launch of the premium Atelier Collections – unveiled last month and available exclusively through independent retailers – as well as a series of new product launches into the full Ideal Standard range that will be released throughout the year.

The Sottini brand will be absorbed into Ideal Standard in the retail market, while Armitage Shanks will remain its lead brand in the non-residential and healthcare sector.

Dave Barber, MD, Ideal Standard UK
Dave Barber, MD, Ideal Standard UK

Speaking exclusively to kbbreview about the decision, Dave Barber, managing director Ideal Standard UK, said: “Sottini has been our retail-led brand for many years, but let’s not sugar-coat it, we’ve flip-flopped a little with our approach over the years. As a UK business, we invested heavily in Sottini, but it was only ever a UK brand and didn’t benefit from the same level of support from the group when it came to marketing and, most importantly, new product development.

“On top of that, coming over the horizon was this absolutely amazing, landmark, design-led collection called Atelier. So, we took the decision that it was best to really focus on our power brands of Armitage Shanks for commercial and Ideal Standard for retail and residential, of which Atelier is a premier collection.”

The plan is for Sottini to be fully phased out of the UK retail sector by Q4 of this year. However, it is keeping Sottini within its specification business, for premium, high-end house-build projects.

Barber went on to describe how the brand plans to support its retail partners through this period of change.

“We are fully committed to supporting our retailers through this transition. We are planning a sensible phase-out of Sottini and a great phase-in of Atelier and will help with displays.

“We’re expanding our field sales team to ensure retailers get the support they need from us. We’re also expanding and transforming our distribution centre in Armitage with a dedicated retail area that will enable us to service our retailers quickly and efficiently. So, importantly, we’re not just investing in the [Atelier] product, we’re investing in the service and support proposition as well.”

  • For the full interview with Ideal Standard UK MD Dave Barber, see the April issue of kbbreview

You can listen to the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast by using the player below or by searching ‘kbbreview’ in a podcast app such as Apple Podcasts.

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