kbb 2024: Retailers must offer unique experiences, says Vado

Angela Neve, product and marketing director, Vado

Q: What are the main ways that Vado is supporting its retailers in the current market?

A: At Vado, we are collaborating with independent retailers to provide a value-added experience compared to pure online retailers and large home improvement stores. Our ranges offer extensive choice in product solutions for every bathing eventuality, ensuring that retailers can meet any customer requirements. We are also committed to supporting bricks and mortar showrooms with our two-tier pricing, which was introduced in 2023. We also support our Vado retail partners with access to our latest modular display units and catalogue portfolio free of charge to help sell-through to their customers.

Q: How do you think the relationship between supplier and retailer is changing?

A: Significant consolidation in the bathroom industry has led to retailers joining large buying groups, enhancing their purchasing power, and securing better deals for independents. While this benefits independents, it intensifies pressure on suppliers to provide lower, more competitive prices, and potentially impacts long-term product quality. This trend also carries the risk of commoditising product offerings in independent showrooms, reducing differentiation from the large home improvement retailers. Buying groups driving hard negotiations with suppliers, coupled with bulk purchases, which drive independents to focus on specific product lines, limit choices for consumers and resemble the model of those larger retailers.

Q: If you were opening a retail showroom in this market, what would your strategy be?

A: Maintaining a balanced approach with a physical bathroom showroom whilst building a robust online presence. Bathroom showrooms will always remain an integral part of the buying journey – leveraging them strategically is what will set you apart. Offering unique experiences, such as exclusive events, creates an in-person advantage that online platforms can’t replicate.

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