Belgian extraction and hobs specialist Novy has been gradually gaining ground with UK kitchen studios and took a large stand at this year’s kbb show that won them the ‘best kitchen stand over 50sq m’ award.
Speaking from its stand at the show, Owain Harrison, UK country manager for the UK, told kbbreview why he believes Novy products are ideal for kitchen studios, and why they are perfect to sell them.
“The independent kitchen and premium kitchen retailers have empathy for what we are doing and so they are natural home for Novy – it is almost like it is planned in as an integral part of the kitchen.”
In terms of what he thinks attracts kitchen studios to the brands, Harrison adds:
“There is so much homogeny in the appliance market and so much product that is pushed towards the replacement sector that is lacking in innovation, and so a brand like Novy, which has this R&D intensity and creates these visions of products, needs the right place to sell them as they need some thinking about before installation.”
Novy has around 400 kitchen studios in the UK, among them Ligneous Kitchens, which was the subject of one of our recent Retailer Profiles, where sales director Adam Prickett told kbbeview that Novy is one of his brands because of its style, quality, quietness, the fact it “isn’t available everywhere” and the support he gets from the company.
On the subject of supporting its retailers, Novy’s Harrison added: “We have grown the team and there are seven of us in the UK and one thing we did early on was to take on our own technician. The product often needs that expert help and it is in our DNA that we want to work with these guys who are experts.”
And Novy is always on the lookout for new retailers, which is one reason for its presence at the show. Harrison said: “Novy is not right for everybody. We say we are in the top tier, luxury segment, and we have nearly 400 studios in the UK and we choose our kitchen partners as carefully as they choose us.
“It is always about the right blend. That is why we are here. We are looking for the right partners who understand this product. When they come onto the stand they get a quick tour and we can soon see if they are right for the product.”
Harrison confides that 90% of Novy sales in the UK are through kitchen studios. He added: “We are very dialled into this channel. And we are still looking for the right partners. And many of our industry luminaries are using Novy and that tells me we are doing the right thing.”
Addressing the issue of brand awareness in the UK for Novy, Harrison said: “We are increasing our marketing investment in the UK, but we are into that segment of who influences that client. We know that the kitchen studio and architect and advocacy from people who already own Novy are the three greatest tools that we could employ. If a designer believes in your product, people will buy it, as there is an element of trust there.”
On its stand at the kbb show, Novy had some new products to unveil. Harrison explained: “We have some new industrial chic products. Wall and décor hoods took a back seat over the past couple of years and they seem to be coming back, so we’ve got a lot of frames, using glass, and lighting is playing a huge part in our product plan. [Kitchen] space is becoming more ambient and used for different things and so we have a wonderful décor framed unit concealed in a smoked glass box, which has uplighting inside and functional lighting for food preparation under the product.
“We are also launching our 1,200mm venting induction hob, which is really attracting some interest, along with our new 800mm Easy model.”
And in terms of how busy the show has been for Novy, Harrison said they were “rammed from morning til dusk”.