kbb 2024: Adapt and bolster your online presence, advises MHK

David Morris, sales manager, MHK UK

Q: What are the main challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them?

A: There have always been challenges in the KBB industry and this year is no different with a landscape affected by the cost-of-living crisis, inflation, global unrest, scarcity of skilled designers and installers, and an increasing demand for sustainability. Retailers must adapt by bolstering their online presence, recognising it as the starting point for consumer engagement. Increasingly, even when referred by satisfied customers, new prospects will look to a retailer’s online profile before making initial contact, making this the key touch point for converting potential leads.

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

A: As a new business, securing financial backing, support, and credit is crucial for rapid growth. Partnering with investors, suppliers, or a buying group like MHK can provide essential leverage.

Cash flow and credit are pivotal for growth. New businesses often struggle to obtain favourable trade credit terms. Joining a buying group like MHK can grant access to extended payment terms, enabling competitiveness by reducing the need for large client deposits and attracting new business.

Efficient time management is vital. Without experienced staff dedicated to supplier sourcing and negotiation, narrow the focus on preferred brands or utilise a buying group for introductions to multiple suppliers.

It pays to seek external help when setting up the business. From warehouse management to website development, being part of a supportive community can significantly ease the process for kitchen retailers.

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