David Cole, head of channel marketing, House of Rohl
Q: How do you view the current health of the UK KBB market?
A: The high quality of UK showrooms, especially at the top end of the market, offers consumers real inspiration, technical and design expertise and the best choice anywhere in Europe. We are investing more with our showroom partners than ever, and the launch of the new brand name for our group, House of Rohl, marks a further step forward.
Q: How’s business compared with last year? And, what are the main challenges facing your sector?
A: Business for all our brands continues to be extremely strong. The buoyant housing market should continue to play through into kitchen and bathroom refurbishments as buyers settle in their new homes.
Managing a demand spike with the unique challenges of a pandemic has stretched everyone in our industry. We are increasing capacity and bringing lead times down, but we know there is much more work to do
Q: If you were opening a retail showroom in this market, what would your strategy be?
A: We opened a House of Rohl showroom at the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour last September, showcasing all four of our brands. Any major retail project is a challenge, even more so during a pandemic. We have already seen that there is still a strong demand from designers and consumers to see products for themselves. The internet continues to shape buyer behaviour, but the majority of people at the premium end of the market want to touch and feel the products and are seeking expert advice.
Q: How important are events like the kbb show to the industry?
A: The kbb show is more important than ever. Nothing can replace face-to-face meetings, or seeing the design and quality of new products in person. Part of the unique offer of UK kitchen and bathroom showrooms is their depth of industry knowledge, and shows like this are the perfect place for showroom teams to refresh and enhance that.