What was the biggest challenge for KBB retailers in 2021?

Product shortages were the biggest challenge in 2021 for KBB retailers, according to a kbbreview industry survey.

More than three-quarters (76%) of KBB retailers cited product shortages as their biggest challenge. Of those, eight out of 10 reported supply problems with kitchens, compared with just under two-thirds (65%) who said that bathroom products shortages were their primary concern.

The shortage of products throws up other challenges too, such as suppliers’ customer service, with 43% across of both kitchens and bathroom retailers reporting dissatisfaction in that area. However, compared with 2017, it is much lower, as our survey four years ago found that 91% of kitchen retailers said service levels would make them switch suppliers. It then dropped to 25% in 2019, but it was back up to 44% in 2021.

A top issue for bathroom retailers was competition from online dealers. Just over a third (35%) of bathroom retailers said that was one of their biggest challenges in 2021. However, this was not as much of an issue for kitchen retailers, with only 14% saying it was a top concern for them.

Finding good fitters was the top challenge in both our 2017 and 2019 industry survey, but it has dropped to number two this year, with supplier issues taking the top spot. However, more than half (59%) of respondents said that installation was still a challenge. 

And whereas Brexit was a significant concern two years ago, less than a third (30%) of respondents named it specifically in the 2021 survey.

Every two years, kbbreview runs a survey for KBB retailers and manufacturers to gauge the state of the industry and identify its significant issues and concerns.

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