‘We’re putting things right,’ claims PJH CEO

Richard George, chief executive of KBB distributor PJH, has insisted the kitchen side of its business is back on track following the launch of new premium collection Virtu and a doubling of its sales force.

Speaking exclusively to kbbreview, George (pictured), who took over the CEO role from Andrew Yates in May, said he now wanted to “re-establish the kitchen business”, which he admitted had previously begun to “go backwards”.

“We want to bring it back,” he said. “It was stagnating with our K and Ram brands, so we’ve taken Ram away and separated K and Virtu – which we launched in February – to offer two different ranges. There’s a place in the market for another premium kitchen distributor.”

George also admitted customer service levels had “seen some dips a couple of years ago”, but that a strategy was now in place to resolve the issue.

“Our service hadn’t been great,” he said. “If you’re not delivering complete kitchens, you begin to lose trust and I think we just eroded some of that. But two years ago, we started a restructure to have one stocking place, so we could manage that service better. We were finding the stock wasn’t always in the right place. The customer is key. They want it when they ask for it. Over the past few years, that reliability is sometimes more important than the product. Our stock ordering is good, but getting it there on time is fundamental.”

George said he was now looking to exploit plans he put in place with Yates, who has taken on the CEO role with PJH parent company Globe Union. “We were on the cusp of where we were going,” he explained. “We were launching Virtu, shower enclosures, we were rebranding, we’d changed the logistical and warehouse stuff. Now it’s about turning up the heat on that and driving it out to the customers. We’ve doubled our retail sales team and we’ve got a new head of sales – Rick Adams from Merlyn. Let’s reap the rewards and move forward.”

  • For the full interview with Richard George, see the December issue of kbbreview
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