Distributor Frontline Bathrooms has pulled out of Kbb Birmingham, following the recent Coronavirus outbreak in a “difficult decision” for the company.
Commenting on its withdrawal from the show, sales and marketing director of Frontline Michael Sammon wrote in a statement: “As a result of the recent Coronavirus outbreak and in light of the guidelines recently issued on the Gov.uk website, we’d like to inform you that Frontline Bathrooms has decided not to exhibit or attend KBB 2020.
“This has been a difficult decision, but the wellbeing of our staff must be our number one priority.
“We have been advised that there are likely to be significant numbers travelling from heavily affected areas of the world.
“The duty of care we owe to our colleagues means that we need to cancel our attendance.”
Sammon stated he was aware of exhibitors who were also considering to withdraw from the show, due to the Coronavirus threat: “We are aware of other companies in the industry that plan to take the same precaution.”
Owner and managing director of Aquavision Alastair Benn commented: “Good decision. We are also contemplating cancelling.”
However BA Components remains committed to the show, as non-executive director Brian McCracken stated: “This must have been a tough decision for Frontline and a massive cost to them.
“Let’s hope it is a great, fully-attended show for everyone’s sake.
“At the BA stand we will have stand sanitisers and will be asking not to shake hands as a precaution.”
Sammon continued, speaking about the financial impact: “We are set to lose a significant amount of investment; but feel supported by our peers in knowing it’s the right decision.”
Although the company was planning to launch “many new products” at the show, Sammon said the company would be looking at a Plan B.
Sammon concluded: “To those still exhibiting, we wish you a fantastic show, and although Kbb will be missed from our marketing calendar this year, we are already looking ahead to 2022.”
kbbBirmingham has provided a written statement about Coronovirus
“The kbb Birmingham team are continuing to closely monitor the developments of Coronavirus through the advice of public health authorities.
2We would like to reassure our attendees and exhibitors that kbb Birmingham 2020 is going ahead as planned with registrations for the show tracking significantly ahead year on year with the highest recorded registrations received this week.
“We continue to follow all safety advice and precautions as recommended by the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO), seriously.
“Please rest assured that while we are monitoring the situation as an international business and staying up to date on official sources of updates and guidance from the government and authorities, it’s entirely business as usual for our events.
“We wish to reassure our customers and colleagues that their health and safety is always a top priority.”
The statement continued: “We respect Frontline’s decision, however as per our most recent statement, we are continuing to monitor the situation and the safety of our exhibitors, visitors and colleagues remains our top priority.”
Find out which exhibitors will be appearing at the event in our preview of Kbb Birmingham 2020.