Richard McGrail, commercial director, Armac Martin
Q: How does it feel being back at trade shows like kbb and how important are they to the future of the industry?
A: We exhibited at Decorex last October after a lack of in-person events and we are very much looking forward to embracing the atmosphere of kbb Birmingham once again.
It will be great to be back among industry experts, house-hold names and new brands. I think it is really important that brands have the opportunity to meet at events like kbb and showcase new products all under one roof.
Q: How’s business for Armac Martin at the moment?
A: We have experienced healthy growth this year, despite all of the external factors at play.
Extended time at home has led to more renovations and projects, which has increased demand for our products. Consumers are also looking for a brand that aligns with their values and I think that championing British manufacturing plays a part here.
Q: What are the main challenges facing your sector right now and how are you tackling them?
A: A key challenge for the KBB sector is material and product shortages. Lead times are at an all-time high and so we have increased capacity at our Birmingham-based factory to enable us to reduce our lead time to just four weeks.
Q: How do you view the health of the UK KBB market?
A: The industry has remained healthy through uncertain times and while there is a certain level of luck and fortune in this, it is also testament to way the industry has adapted to meet this growing demand and the changing needs of the customer.
It has highlighted the importance of great customer service and working closely with stakeholders.
Q: How do you think the relationship between supplier and retailer is changing?
A: As a brand and manufacturer, embracing ever-changing con–sumer behaviours is paramount to our long-term success. As such, we have invested heavily in marketing to help support our retail network.