KBN Top 10 News Stories 2023

Kitchens & Bathrooms News (KBN) has identified the Top 10 news stories which have shaped the kitchen and bathroom industry over the past 12 months.

22 Dec, 23

Kitchens & Bathrooms News (KBN) has identified the Top 10 news stories which have shaped the kitchen and bathroom industry over the past 12 months.

Wren makes “disruptive” move into housebuild market

Following analysis of views of articles uploaded to its website over the past year, KBN has revealed its most popular stories are based upon retail and manufacturer diversification and expansion.

Editor of KBN Philippa Turrell said: “The past 12 months have been challenging, with a mixed bag of results for kitchen and bathroom retailers.

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“However, it has been pleasing to see positive stories of diversification and expansion of greatest interest to our readers and, hopefully, these will spur further optimism in the KBB market in 2024.”


1.Wren Kitchens

Wren makes “disruptive” move into housebuild market

National retailer Wren Kitchens unveiled plans of working in the housebuild market, in what it said was a “disruptive” move.

Although the company has been active in the contracts sector for 12 months, to bed in and test processes, it officially went live with its offer.

Heading up the team is sales director for Wren Kitchens Contracts Damian Sheridan, who has 25 years’ experience in contract sales.


2. Victoria Plum

Victoria Plum website ranked best bathroom site

Online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum fell into administration on September 29, 2023, and was sold by private equity firm Endless to AHK Designs Ltd.

Victoria Plum appointed partners of Ernst & Young Samuel James Woodward and Timothy Graham Vance as joint administrators.

Shortly following their appointment, the joint administrators completed sale of the business and certain assets of Victoria Plum, securing all 345 jobs.



JTP announces multi-million expansion

Bathroom brand JTP  announced plans to expand into a new 40,000 sq ft warehouse to offer increased storage, new offices and the brand’s first showroom, in a multi-million pound project.

Located near to the brand’s current site in West London, the warehouse will provide three times the original warehouse space for 200 new products, which will be introduced to its portfolio in 2024.

In addition, it will house a showroom for JTP’s residential and commerical customers, allowing them to view and experience the brand’s full product portfolio.


4. MHK

MHK UK joins BiKBBI as sponsor

Managing director of export for MHK Group Marcel Crezee announced he was  leaving the organisation, after seven years, at his own request.

During his time with the organisation, Crezee established the European buying group in the UK in 2017 and under his leadership it had grown five fold in the country in that time.

Chairman of the board of MHK Group Volker Klodwig said: “We would like to thank Marcel Crezee very much for his commitment to MHK’s international business, which has always been marked by passion and a high level of personal dedication.


5. Nobia

Nobia invests SEK2billion in Swedish factory

In order to drive efficiencies and margin improvement, Nobia decided on a cost reduction programme including repositioning of part of the UK business.

The programme aimed to generate annual savings in excess of SEK 300m, with a “noticeable” impact in the second quarter of 2023 and reaching “full” effect in the second quarter of 2024.

The programme involved the potential redundancy of 500 employees.

6. Symphony

Symphony expands HQ with £30m investment

Privately-owned manufacturer of fitted kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture, Symphony Group invested £30million into a factory expansion at its HQ in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Measuring 300,000 sqft, the extension takes the total area of the factory to over 800,000 sq ft – equivalent to the size of 11 premier league football pitches.

It has been built alongside the existing factory to secure the company’s plans for the expansion of its  product ranges, services, manufacturing capacity and storage over the medium term.


7. Electrolux

Electrolux UK & Ireland names new GM

Having worked for the Electrolux Group for over seven years, Sara Erman was named general manager.

She has worked across a variety of roles within the company, having started her journey as marketing director in 2016.

Erman has over 20 year’s experience in brand and marketing management following her role as vice president of direct-to-consumer e-commerce at Electrolux Group.

8. Howdens

Howdens invests £20m into UK manufacturing

Trade kitchen supplier Howdens made a multi-million ound investment into a factory extension and production line at Howden, East Yorkshire, strengthening its supply chain and creating jobs.

It installed a high gloss kitchen door line measuring over one kilometre in length and which was opened by Rt Hon David Davis MP for Haltemprice and Howden.

Once fully commissioned, the “Heartland” factory will manufacture over two million kitchen door frontals and decor ends in high gloss finishes.


9. Imperial Bathrooms

Imperial Bathrooms MBO following administration

British manufacturer Imperial Bathrooms announced it was “business as usual”, after a buyout by IBC Products Limited, following the company going into administration on January 30, 2023.

Previous managing director of eight years, Neil Gore led the bid, and returned to lead the company following a three year sabbatical from Imperial.

He was joined by fellow directors James Stevenson, Kevin Johnson, and Robin Wright.


10. Harrison Bathrooms

Harrison Bathrooms reports record £40m turnover

Distributor Harrison Bathrooms, and owner of the Scudo brand, reported a “record” turnover of £40 million, for the last 12 months up to and including July 2023.

Formed in 2013, the Yorkshire-based company supplies bathrooms to retailers throughout the UK & Ireland.

According to the company, it has experienced continued year-on-year growth since its formation and featured in the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table twice.