Making their predictions for kbb retail in 2022, industry experts believe bouyant demand, supply challenges and price hikes will continue and retailers need to “adapt and become more flexible”.
Expectations are demand for kitchens and bathrooms will remain “relatively buoyant” during the first half of 2022 and will continue to impact supply.
Marketing and retail director of Symphony Group Simon Collyns stated: “Whilst we have taken steps to ensure continuity of supply through these challenging times, many home improvement projects are continuing to be delayed by shortages with other materials and labour.
“This will ensure a carry-over of planned projects into 2022 and maintenance of relatively buoyant demand until at least early summer.”
Demand will continue to impact supply issues which will be further exacerbated by on-going global issues in distribution, as CEO of Roman David Osborne pointed to the shipping crisis and power shortages in the Far East: “World shipping is still in a dreadful mess and prices remain at unfathomable levels.
“This must dissipate over time but certainly 2022 will still see unrecognisable shopping costs.
“We expect reliability to return but costs to remain at very high levels. This clearly adds to price inflation continuing construction products.”
Managing director of Daval Simon Bodsworth agreed retailers should expect an increase in prices and factor in longer leads times to counteract supply issues: “Being pragmatic, we need to anticipate rising prices and customers who will be ever more discerning about what they want to spend their money on.
“This, and the need to factor in longer lead times, really puts the onus on both suppliers and retailers to provide exceptional products and services that deliver on all aspects of design.”
It means retailers will need to be agile, reacting to these conditions, as national sales manager UK for Keller Kitchens Tim Spann commented: “It is absolutely key that retailers must adapt and become more flexible than ever, especially given the supply chain challenges the industry continues to face.”
He pointed out: “If the process of buying a kitchen is managed in the right way, the consumer will not see waiting a few days or few weeks longer for their dram kitchen as a barrier to buy.”
However, industry experts believe these supply issues could relax in 2022, as demand for kitchens and bathrooms may become more subdued in the second part of the year.
Tim Spann of Keller Kitchens reported: “Analysts are predicted a softening of the spike in sales. In itself that will no doubt ease some of the pressure in the global supply chain during 2022 as the ‘new industry normals’ begin to settle.”
And Simon Collyns from Symphony agreed, stating there was an expectation funds would be diverted from home investments into holidays in the second half of 2022, seeing a return to pre-COVID trading.
He concluded: “The key for retailers to meet the challenges, and make the most of opportunities, is to partner with a reliable and forward-thinking supplier, who can be trusted to maintain supply and service levels, be fair on pricing and planning ahead to ensure they can meet further opportunities – by investing in new products, digital marketing, people and sustainability”