Bill Miller: ‘Better times are round the corner’

Der Kreis, Bill Miller,
Bill Miller, MD, Der Kreis UK

Bill Miller, managing director of the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG), has outlined his belief that despite the current challenging market, KBB business owners are likely to see a return to positive conditions in the near future.

Speaking at the KBBG’s annual members meeting earlier this week, Miller said: “One thing we all need to do is look forward to the future with some positivity. Let’s address the elephant in the room: the market at the moment is rubbish. This year, it’s pretty awful, and last year was pretty awful, but let’s not stand still.

“I visited a retailer last week having a really tough time of it. The showroom isn’t the best, it’s not really in the best location, and the owner’s been having a tough time of it. We were discussing new concepts and ideas for his business. He said to me ‘I’m making no changes, until the market gets better, I’m not investing a penny into this showroom. I’m not investing in the website, social media, new displays or suppliers’. He really couldn’t be more wrong, in my view.

“This is a great opportunity, while business isn’t so good at the moment, to prepare for what’s coming. And what’s coming is better times. I’ve been in this business for 40 years – I’ve seen great times and rubbish times. This just happens to be one of the rubbish times, but trust me, I’ve seen this before – better times are round the corner.

“Inflation is coming down, cost of living is coming down, and so are fuel costs. We’ve got an election in a month’s time. But the big blocker right now is interest rates. The Bank of England keeps hinting at a reduction, and although we haven’t seen one yet, I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a reduction very soon. It might not be a big drop, but I think that once consumers see the cost of borrowing going down, that’s going to prompt them to go into the showroom.

“So, I think in the second half of the year, things are going to get better. And then we’ll see even better conditions next year – I’m not sure that 2025 will be a boom year – but I think it’ll definitely be better than this year.”

At the same event, Miller also announced a new exclusive partnership between the KBBG and the KBSA, which will see members of each organisation enjoying discounted membership rates when joining the other.

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