‘Don’t overcomplicate business’ says Sonas CEO

Sonas Bathrooms CEO, Richard Sloan

The CEO of Irish bathroom brand Sonas is urging independents to keep their business simple in order to succeed in a challenging market.

Speaking to kbbreview from its stand at the kbb Birmingham show, Richard Sloan said that the principles of running a business are actually very simple but sometimes, and more often in a tough market, people overcomplicate it.

“You’ve just got to think, if you’re a consumer looking to buy a kitchen or bathroom what do you expect from a retailer,” he explained. “You want to walk into a lovely, well-presented showroom and meet someone that’s friendly, engaging and interested in you and your project. That’s really all people want and expect.”

However, he admitted that suppliers play a key role in supporting retailers achieve this.  

“Suppliers have to offer retailers the kind of service, support and product portfolio that allows them to simplify the way they operate and do business.

“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.”

Sloan also gave an update on the company’s performance 12 months on from the launch of the brand in the UK market.

“The UK is a key market for us and it’s a long-term commitment for us,” he said. “To get things moving and to get some traction we took the view that we had to invest significantly and tell the Sonas story and build relationships with good independent retailers.

“And we’re seeing results. We set milestones for year one and we achieved those in terms of revenue and retail partners we have signed up. We have five people covering England and Wales and that’s working really well. We’re very much on track.

“We have a sales plan for 2024 which has been structured and phased over four quarters. The first two months have been slightly ahead of target and that’s really encouraging.”

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