Significant drop in KBB retailers using own fitters for installations

The continued shortage of fitters throughout 2021 has led to retailers using more subcontractors, according to a kbbreview industry survey.

The survey revealed that 29% of KBB retailers use their own fitters for project installations. This figure is down nearly 10% from the 2020 survey.

Just over twice as many kitchen as bathroom retailers use their own fitters (34% vs 15%) and this goes hand in hand with another big difference between the two sectors — supply only. This counts for nearly a third of bathroom fits (30%) against just 4% of kitchens.

More than half (59%) of retailers also said finding a good fitter is their biggest challenge, up from 50% in previous survey and the highest percentage ever recorded by any kbbreview survey. Back in October 2021 Carl Terlecki, founder of kitchen installations company Terlecki, spoke to the kbbreview podcast about how shocked he had been at the high demand for installers and skills shortage in the KBB industry.

Terlecki, which won last year’s kbbreview Retail & Design Awards inaugural ‘Installation Company of the Year’ award said: “The work has not stopped over the past year. We’ve had so much – almost too much, and there are not enough skilled tradespeople to service all of that.”

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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