Just Add Water | How refurbishing showroom elevated retail brand

Head of showrooms at Just Add Water Charlotte Schofield talks about elevating the brand with its refurbished showroom in Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

25 Mar, 24

Head of showrooms at Just Add Water Charlotte Schofield talks about re-establishing and elevating its retail brand with its refurbished boutique showroom in Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

Just Add Water | Refurbishing to elevate bathroom retail brand

Just Add Water has recently refurbished its Buckhurst Hill showroom in Essex to create a boutique-style showroom. However, its beauty is more than skin deep.

The transformation of the two-floor space has been tactical, in line with the market, moving the retail business to a more prestigious position, and acting as a footprint for the Just Add Water brand.

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Head of showrooms Charlotte Schofield said she made the proposal to the board of directors to upscale the bathroom showrooms as the lower mid sales started to tighten.

“We had to dress the showrooms for the people buying bathrooms, with a strategy to elevate the brand.”

And certainly, it is reflected in order value, as Charlotte says “We have seen the average order value lift significantly with the introduction of the new products used in the refurbishment.”

Combating comparisons

The refurbishment of the flagship showroom, has seen an investment of around £60,000 including a new lighting scheme.

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The showroom has been designed so suppliers have visibility alongside the Just Add Water brand


The ground floor space, which had an open plan office shared with its parent company Fayers, has been divided to create a boutique presentation area with TVs for design presentations along with coffee machines and cold beverages being available to customers.

“It’s completely changed the experience for the customer”, says Charlotte who points out they are assisted by a three-strong sales team with decades of experience between them.

Key to the re-launch, Charlotte needed to carefully re-design the supply strategy, to avoid like-for-like comparisons, offer return on investment for each display space and to create a Just Add Water brand.

She continues: “I don’t like our team having to compete with quotes that are cheaper online or with competitors in the local vicinity.

“I made a conscious effort to push forward with different products, suppliers to other local showrooms to reduce this from happening – my key driver was to differentiate our customer proposition in every way possible.

“I like the teams to enjoy their whole sales process, from sitting with the customers, exploring the showroom together, offering our design service, creating mood boards. It’s an excellent visualisation of what consumers are going to end up with and a great way to have customer interaction and experience.”

Selecting suppliers

The showroom has always housed many leading brands, but Charlotte says it meant Just Add Water lost some visual identity.

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Wanting to be destination for every customer wanting a new bathroom, Just Add Water offers a good, better, best proposition across the showroom


So, alongside the brand, she focused on suppliers which partner the aims of Just Add Water, Charlotte says: “I first focused on the suppliers we already had solid relationships with such as Crosswater, Hansgrohe and Catalano.

“We planned their areas out to give the best visibility in the showroom of their brand, but whilst ultimately elevating our own brand at the same time.

“Our suppliers have all showed us real dedication about wanting to work with Just Add Water as a brand.

“We want to be a destination for every customer wanting a new bathroom, that’s why it was so important for us to offer a good, better, best proposition across the showroom.”

Charlotte adds: “The refurbishment saw us introduce exciting new brands into the showroom, all chosen for specific reasons to suit current and future trends in the industry – ultimately supporting wider more exciting choice.

Charlotte admits the 7-month transformation took longer than expected. She explains “We started downstairs, then moved upstairs. The midpoint of transition was highly emotional and frustrating, as nothing was finished.

“I wanted quick results, but its taught me that taking the time to get it right is far more important than rushing to the finish line” now, she still remains overwhelmed with the end result: “This always felt like it needed this to happen, the reach its full potential”

Trade and social

Offering a design and supply only service, with recommended installers, Charlotte explains “they bring us customers and in turn we recommend them to our new customers.”

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Just Add Water has a space dedicated to mirrors and mirrored cabinets


But she points out Just Add Water manages the entire bathroom project. In fact, 60% of the Buckhurst Hill customers remain professional “regulars”, which work on £2million+ houses and have projects of anywhere in-between 5 to 7 bathrooms.

However, Instagram has spawned a new customer base, with Charlotte both looking after the marketing and the sales from that channel. “I deal with all the Instagram customers, it’s both an exciting and rewarding platform for us.

“It also allows our reach wider than the local areas we are based in. I find that when they know their questions are being answered by a person, rather than a robot, it opens them up and they relax.

“I do anything from Virtual Worlds designs to Q&AS its perfect for customer interaction and gathering market research.”

Interestingly, she adds sustainability has moved higher up the design agenda: “We get asked about it more now than ever. We always want to promote water-saving brassware, and energy saving products saying it’s going to save money and you can feel greener at the end of the day.”

Relationships and opportunities

So what is next for Just Add Water? “I think what we’ve done is create a massive opportunity. We have clearly raised the bar & quality of products and elevated our customer experience.

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The supplier strategy was developed upon choosing product not available locally


“We understand our brand and our DNA and can do a ‘copy and paste’ somewhere else with the understanding of what matters to us”, says Charlotte, hinting at future plans.

Director Nick Horton also points out: “There’s still a lot more to do. We are freshening everything up. I listened to the dream, bought into the dream, and convinced the shareholders this was where we needed to invest money and the local area is now so aligned and receptive to what we have created.

What comes through strongly is that developing personal relationships will continue to be key to the success of Just Add Water from its suppliers, through to customers, and its staff. Nick concludes: “The key thing in the showroom is the staff. They are our differentiator. It’s how we sell someone their dream, here, which is so important.”