Kitchen showroom retail is a ‘phenomenal opportunity’ says AO boss

Anthony Sant
Anthony Sant managing director of AO Business

Online appliance giant AO is eyeing up the potential of being a major supplier to the independent kitchen specialist sector.

In an exclusive interview for the latest episode of the award-winning kbbreview podcast, Anthony Sant, the managing director of the company’s B2B arm AO Business, says that the kitchen retail market is a ‘phenomenal opportunity’.

“I think sometimes we all forget how large the sale of MDA is within the kitchen retail space,” he said. “Whether that be independents or multiples, it’s around 25% of the market and that’s certainly a space that AO wants to be in.”

Sant says that AO’s ability to collect and dispose of old appliances efficiently and safely for no extra cost is the big differential that, while perhaps not significant for retailers now, will become a major USP in the future as legislation forces them to be responsible for electrical waste.

“If people want to just buy boxes from us, we’re not that much different from everybody else,” he said. “But when you start looking a the bigger picture it’s a distinct proposition. People often lose sight of the fact that old electrical appliances are hazardous waste and they need to be taken away using a certified logistics business.”

Sant says that the government is turning its attention to the electrical waste produced by the kitchen retail market as it attempts to close the gap between the amount of products sold and the amount recycled.

“[The government] believes that by making retailers responsible for pick up from the customers home it improves this rate. For the likes of AO, John Lewis, Currys and Argos it’s quite straightforward as they’re predominantly distressed purchases but the biggest kept secret was how much MDA is sold in the kitchen space.

“However, it became very apparent during Covid when you’d go out for your walk and see skips with the old kitchen and appliances sticking out. So the kitchen retail space is hugely important for government to truly drive collections because it’s an area that’s being missed.”

You can hear the full interview with Anthony Sant on the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast. In it he also discusses appliances shortages, including whether AO gets priority over other retailers when products become available…

Listen below, on desktopYouTube, or on your podcast player of choice like Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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