Rise in retailers selling outdoor kitchens

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Kitchen retailers in the UK are seeing an increase in consumers wanting more permanent spaces for outdoor kitchens.

In its monthly ‘Mood of the Nation’ report back in May, research company Spark found that 52% of UK adults planned to improve their garden from spring to summer 2022. This research is backed up not only by anecdotal evidence from independent kitchen retailers and also larger supermarket chains such as Aldi, that brought out its own basic range of outdoor kitchens.

At this year’s kbb Birmingham show, there were several kitchen suppliers showcasing these outdoor displays and launching new outdoor kitchen products.

When asked why he thought outdoor kitchens had taken off so much with consumers, Trevor Scott, CEO of Rugby Fitted Kitchens in Warwickshire, said that it’s partly down to the Covid lockdowns. “Due to the pandemic, more people are working from home, either partially or permanently, and consumers are viewing their homes in a different light.

“Creating home working spaces is one example but looking harder at how to make the best use of their outdoor space is another. So rather than wheeling out the rusty old barbecue on a damp weekend, they are thinking in terms of creating an all-weather outdoor space that includes a more structured outdoor kitchen within it.”

Angus Kerr, director of the Kitchens2 studios in Perth and Edinburgh, added: “All of the products have been available for years they are now just being adapted into sophisticated garden spaces. Instead of barbecues, proper units with hobs run on bottled gas, patio heating, smart outdoor-friendly furniture, closed-off pergolas, and pizza ovens are becoming the must-have additions to our homes.”

Back in May, retailer KSL Sudbury launched its outdoor kitchen showroom. Richard Hibbert, KSL managing director and national chair of KBSA, said that if retailers are looking to offer outdoor kitchens, then investment is needed. “I’ve spent two years researching this market and feel I have a good understanding and chose my suppliers on quality, the people, if I can make money, and online presence,” said Hibbert. “You need to look at it properly, get a plan made and only go into it if you are 100% behind it and you have the budget.”

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