West Yorkshire-based distributor Frontline Bathrooms has used its time at the kbb Birmingham show to inform retailers about its new business and service strategy following its acquisition by Huws and Gray Group in July 2021.
Frontline’s new commercial director, Claire Parke (pictured at kbb Birmingham), admitted that the brand had been “relatively quiet” in the market since the beginning of the pandemic as it used the time to get to know its new owners and completely reassess how it operates in order to improve its service to retailers.
“We’ve been quiet but all we’ve been doing is preparing ourselves to come out stronger,” she told kbbreview. “We feel – with the Covid situation levelling itself out – now is the right time to get back out there and start networking again.
“We’ve taken the time we had during Covid to do some housekeeping and redefine what we’re about as a brand, hence why we’ve committed to the kbb show to let retailers know we’re here with a reinvigorated service and product offering.
“We have new owners that really believe in Frontline and want it to be a success. It’s an exciting time.”
According to Parke, stock availability and service levels have, in the past, been problem areas for Frontline. So, as part of its assessment, the brand went back to basics and asked retailers what they wanted from the company in order to shape the business, so it worked better for its dealers.
“We went straight back to our customers to ask them exactly where we needed to change to make it easier to deal with us. As result of the feedback, we’ve reassessed where we source some of our product from and how we service our retail network.
“Recognising how difficult it is to get product to the UK from China at the moment, part of the process has seen us look at how we can get product from areas much closer to home. We’re now sourcing some parts of eastern Europe and Turkey, for instance, to make the lead times shorter and improve product quality in places too but, at the same time, maintaining margins for us and our dealers.”