‘Don’t give us problems,’ developers urge retailers

Leading property developers have revealed the challenges they face when working with KBB retailers, and the type of businesses they prefer to deal with.

Speaking exclusively to kbbreview, Patrick Burke (pictured), a director with Burmor Construction in Peterborough, admitted missing parts were often the biggest frustration and urged dealers to sharpen up their after-sales service.

“If they’ve got something wrong, we’ve found that because they haven’t got the systems in place, it might take a week or more before the message gets to the right person to action it,” he explained. “Then they send a bit of paper to check and sign and, before you know it, you’ve waited four or five weeks. An improvement to that whole thing would encourage us to use it a bit more.”

Monica Khiroya, product and marketing director with boutique London developer Fruition Properties, revealed that the company mainly works with Hertfordshire-based kitchen design and installation company Ashwell Contracts, who supply furniture from PWS. “We’ve worked with other contractors, but one of the things that I’ve enjoyed with them is that they’ve got a really good understanding of what developers want from an aesthetic perspective – not just the commercial side,” she said. “In the past, we’ve tried some of the really big, contract-focused kitchen companies who churn out loads of kitchens, but ended up steering away from them. They have a sales person and a team that draws up the plans and you’re on a bit of a conveyor belt.”

Meanwhile Hattie Bacon, sales and marketing director with Cambridge developer Enterprise Property Group, said the company liked dealing with a balance of smaller outfits and suppliers like Symphony for larger projects.

An ideal retailer, she said, should be able to “sit down with the client, understand their target market and understand how a building works from a technical point of view, with structural walls and soil pipes, etc. They’d need to provide good plans and coloured elevation images, so we can look at that kitchen and know what we’re getting. That’s what we need when we’re selling off-plan.”

  • For more views from developers, see the June issue of kbbreview
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