kbb 2024: Sonas optimistic after milestone first year in UK

Richard Sloan, chief executive, Sonas Bathrooms

Q: How’s business compared with last year?

A: For Sonas, ours is a story of growth. Last year was a milestone year for us as we embarked on establishing Sonas in the UK and building a network of leading retailers. We are very happy with the foundations we have built and the progress we are making. This year promises to be a stronger year for us in terms of sales as we deepen our partnerships. We also look forward to launching a number of new ranges in the market and of course our first appearance at the Birmingham show. 

Q: What are the main challenges facing your sector?

A: There is no doubt that the industry as a whole is facing challenges due to the macroeconomic environment. Consumer confidence has been dampened by rising interest rates and inflationary pressures. Recent geopolitical issues are also causing disruption to supply chains and many of these issues are outside our control. We invest in holding almost £10 million of stock, which gives piece of mind to retailers, and we will always strive to have an alternative in stock. 

Q: How do you view the health of the UK KBB market? A: As a relatively new entrant to the UK market, our view is possibly different from more established brands who may have seen some post-Covid correction or downturn in trading. Our outlook is one of optimism as the UK market is quite diverse with lots of segmentation across many channels.  

Q: How is the supplier/retailer relationship changing?

A: At Sonas, we work on developing long-term sustainable partnerships with our retailer network. What I’ve learned in the UK to date is that it’s not too dissimilar to the Irish market. Customers in both markets seem to value the same things – good product, good quality and they really like good service and people who are easy to do business with. The fundamental principle of keeping the customer at the heart of everything we do will remain. 

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