‘Work harder and smarter to exploit the opportunities’

Dave Meyer, the commercial director of kitchen sinks and taps specialist Reginox looks ahead and evaluates what factors may turn on the tap for more sales in 2024

The past year has been an interesting one. For Reginox, it has been successful and stable  and we achieved what we wanted to achieve. 

For the industry it has been a challenging year. We have seen a lot of changes, a lot of stresses and strains within the house-builder sector with the change of government and rising interest rates, but the industry as a whole is quite resilient and has started to bounce back. 

It felt like the first proper year since 2019 and people’s buying habits have reverted more to what they were pre-Covid – shopping less online and going back into bricks-and-mortar retailers. 

People I have spoken with have talked about 2023 being the first opportunity to have a like-for-like comparison with 2019 without the distortions of the Covid years.

It has been good to see a little bit of normality come back, but that has obviously been tempered and distorted by interest rate and cost-of-living increases. 

Consumer confidence

I think 2024 will bring more of the same. There is no end in sight to rising interest rates, although the cost-of-living crisis does seem to be easing a little. Hopefully, people will have a little more disposable income and the confidence to spend it on their kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or home office renovation. This may bring a slight uplift in business, but I still think things are going to remain challenging until we see a downward trend in interest rates and some stability to inflation.

Until consumer confidence returns with gusto, there is always going to be that drag on sales and growth. But we at Reginox are optimistic that there are opportunities out there and by working harder and smarter, we can exploit those.

Undoubtedly there is going to be an election next year, so that will create a degree of uncertainty, with a lot of political arguments, that may undermine confidence.

Next year will be about that confidence returning and maybe a change of government will be what’s needed. I think the parties should take a more long-term approach that will benefit the country across all levels of society, rather than selling short-term fixes. If someone ran on a platform of being stable, pragmatic, sensible and fair, that would tick a lot of boxes. 

Our number-one priority for 2024 will be moving into the contracts sector. We are employing a dedicated contracts team and we are moving very proactively into the house-builder and developer side. We have interviewed and offered roles to some really talented people, and that excites me.

But we have also made the conscious decision not to move away from what
we currently do, with our multichannel
and multi-product offering, but to be a little bit more decisive and focused on where we want to go in 2024. 

We will strive to do what we do, but do it a little better, consolidate what we do and who we deal with. We cannot stand still. We have to be proactively moving forward.

I am a big believer in consolidation – keep what you have got, just try to get 1% or 2% more, to be 1% better than your competitors. We are up against some big, well-established names, but if we can be 1% better on service, on quality and price, that is all the customer needs to hear. 

We want to be the best we can be and have a focused strategy. That means we can go to kitchen studios and say we can give them an offering that is better and different, so their offering to their customers can be better and different. 

We are going into next year with some great ideas and a fantastic, nailed-down strategy. 

Listen to the full interview with Dave Mayer in a special podcast episode. Go to kbbreview.com/podcast to find it

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