“Don’t beat up suppliers on price,” says CP Hart boss

Paul Rowland, MD of CP Hart

Paul Rowland, the MD of premium bathroom retailer CP Hart, says that retailers need to treat suppliers as partners rather than ‘beating them up’ over price.

Speaking on the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast, Rowland says that positive relationships with suppliers are “crucial” to a retailer’s success.

“Suppliers aren’t people you figuratively beat up or hit on the head with a baseball bat,” he said. “They’re partners in your journey. They want you to be successful so use their knowledge and their understanding of the industry. You need to make sure you have the right suppliers, and make sure that you’re constantly at the forefront of their thoughts in your geographical area.”

Rowland was the recipient of the 2024 Special Achievement Award at the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards held in March. He has successfully led CP Hart for 20 years, taking it from £15m turnover to £50m.

The relationship with suppliers isn’t just about price, he says, it’s about forging relationships for the overall long term advantage of your business.

“When you work with them positively over a number of years, you’ll be the first to market with new products because they know you’re successful. They’d rather give it to you than the next nearest local competitor and they can also assist with marketing and leads.

“So need to work alongside them as partners rather than seeing them as somebody that you’re trying to constantly push down on pricing. You’ll also then find that you’ll get a positive reputation and you’ll have other suppliers coming to you rather than you having to try and knock down their door and your business will evolve on the back of that.”

Listen to the full interview with Paul Rowland using the player below or go straight to this episode in Apple PodcastsSpotify or YouTube. Alternatively, search ‘kbbreview’ wherever you get your podcast go here to see all the latest episodes.

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