‘I only want to sell Poggenpohl’
We talk to Anthony Barker, co-director of the new independent Poggenpohl retailer, to find out why the German high-end brand was his go-to brand of choice
For Anthony Barker, co-owner of Poggenpohl by South West Design, there was never any doubt in his mind about which brand he would sell when he opened his showroom.
He tells kbbreview: “It was never even a question in my mind to approach any other manufacturer. I have looked at other high-end brands in other studios and they are very nice, but for me, I only want to sell Poggenpohl.”
He knew he didn’t want a typical good-better-best offering. He says: “I found that by having good-better-best it was very confusing, and often confusing for the staff.
“People would get hung up on the differences and why did one cost more? The premium market is a good place to be and I have lots of experience at the top end.”
Barker is also a co-director of surfaces specialist Optidek, but he has had plenty of experience in retail, having worked previously for CP Hart and spent nine years working for a Poggenpohl retailer in the south-west of London.
Barker recalls how he loved his time working in retail. But why did he decide to get back into it again? “I love that interaction with the customer when you are designing their kitchen,” he confides. “The whole process of selling a high-end kitchen is really nice. They are entrusting you to design the kitchen that they have read about, dreamt about, saved for. It is a very emotional process and we have lovely clients who often become friends.”
His new independently owned 3,000sq ft Poggenpohl showroom was born from the opportunity he saw to convert and combine two large warehouse units next door to the Optidek premises at The Dairy at Priston Mill near Bath and it was a floor-to-ceiling refurbishment.
Priston Mill is a local landmark and wedding venue on the Dutchy of Cornwall estate and Barker saw its potential as a high-end kitchen showroom.
Officially opening this October, the new showroom has three large displays and a media unit area with soft seating and a TV.
There is also an area towards the back of the showroom aimed at the contract market.
Barker has displays for the +Modo, +Segmento and Cuore collections.
Asked what it is that particularly appeals to him about Poggenpohl, he says: “Quality, innovation, service and value actually. I think the value for money is very good. People are getting their money’s worth and more. Poggenpohl is continually developing new innovations and designs.’
With a luxury product, you need service to match and Barker knows that: “We are only open by appointment. It is truly bespoke. The client will choose the appointment time and if that is in the evening, then we will work around them. So we can 100% focus on them and the showroom is theirs for that time. No disturbances. That makes the experience more special – it is just for them.”
Barker adds that Poggenpohl also gave him plenty of help and support along the way.
He tells kbbreview: “They have been fantastic. They supported me throughout the showroom design. My main UK contact, Scott Rotchell, helped me measure up, we came up with the initial concept based on my needs and then it was sent to Germany, where Poggenpohl has an in-house Corporate Architecture Team.
“They were also great at refining the concept and making suggestions to enhance the presentation.”
He adds: “Poggenpohl have been excellent in all aspects of the process from start to finish. They couldn’t have done any more for us.”
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