Own brand products help distributor Davroc react quicker to new trends

The bathroom distributor says it can now be more reactive to trends – like colourful finishes – and keep more stock with its two own-brand products.

Davroc launched brassware brand Coalbrook and towel rail brand Diffusion in 2020 and Chris Dodds, managing director at Davroc and Coalbrook, has seen gaps in the market which he can now fill with these new own brands.

Talking to kbbreview at its stand at kbb Birmingham; he said: “There are two brands that we’ve created: Coalbrook which is brassware and Diffusion which is heated towel rails. We saw a gap in the market, especially for types of finishes in towel rails. New finishes had become a bit of a trend and the offering had grown but as a distributor it was difficult to react quickly. We have to commit quite heavily to stock, so that’s what we’ve done with both the Diffusion and Coalbrook collections. We’ve invested heavily in large amounts of stock so we can always offer service and transport.

“We’ve always distributed our own brands and own two factories – we say our job is not to just move a box, it’s to add value along the way. If you’re not adding value, you’re not doing your job right. Coalbrook has been a bit of a learning curve for us, but we’re really pleased with how it looks.”

When kbbreview asked whether all distributors should be manufacturing their own product, Dodds said: “It depends on what the point is. Rightly or wrongly, some companies have done their own brand in a number of ways and there’s a tendency to do it on the volume side, but it depends on the business model.

“Distribution has changed so much over the years with some big players closing and of the distributors that are left, everyone has a different route to market. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution. The way we’ve looked at it is you either do it well or don’t do it at all. It’s easy to do things that we aren’t good at, we’ve done that in the past and we’ve learned our lesson from that experience. We’ve now invested a huge amount of money in stock, human resource, and design because we didn’t want this to be a case of Davroc are just doing a range of taps. We all want to make a margin. So, for our retail partners, we want them to make a good margin. We want Coalbrook to become an important brand to them. And we want them to be important to us.”

Bank and Zurich are the two newest collections under its newest own brand Coalbrook and were launched at kbb Birmingham to retailers.

The new range Bank takes inspiration from British engineering with the idea behind the collection conceived when Coalbrook’s designers stumbled upon a cross-handle whilst tinkering under the bonnet of a pre-war Rolls Royce Phantom. The Zurich collection was inspired by the Cresta Run in St Moritz, a natural ice skeleton racing toboggan track. The collection, which features well-crafted levers, was created with the same attention to detail in an ode to Swiss precision and high-quality design.

Both the Bank and Zurich collections feature a selection of taps, deck and wall-mounted mixers and deck and freestanding bath fillers. The Bank collection also includes shower products. In addition to Coalbrook’s signature four finishes, chrome, gunmetal, brushed brass and brushed nickel, the Zurich and Bank collections will have gloss white and gloss black ceramic handles to select from. The Zurich collection will also provide the option to mix and match finishes, so that a two-tone look can be achieved.

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