‘Find your niche’, urges Smallbone boss

Ron Shemesh, Smallbone owner

The president of Lux Group Holdings, the parent company of Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture, has urged independents to focus on finding their niche in order to thrive in a difficult market.

During an exclusive interview with kbbreview, Ron Shemesh (pictured) revealed that although he felt the UK kitchen sector was big enough for everyone, independent retailers must focus on what makes their business and service stand out and then excel at it, in order to survive.

“Retailers in the middle market need to find a balance between what national retailers like Wren are doing and what Smallbone, at the luxury end, are doing,” he said. “There’s room for everyone but they have to find their niche and they have to do a great job.”

Despite admitting that the UK market had been difficult to navigate over the past few years, he revealed he was optimistic for the KBB sector moving forward.

“The UK market has been challenging but for those of us at the upper end of the market, most of our clients are relatively immune to economic difficulties,” he said. “Overall, the first quarter of 2024 has been tough, but it will start to let up towards the end of the year.

“This year will be about sustaining position, but 2025 looks set to be a year for growth for the industry.”

Last year, the brand hit the headlines after it was revealed that it had been forced to vacate its Knightsbridge showroom following an ongoing legal dispute with its landlord.

  • You can read the full interview, where he reveals his plans for the Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson Furniture brands, a new showroom and how he’s ‘redefining luxury kitchen retailing’, in the April issue of kbbreview Magazine.
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