Q&A | A closer look at…Novus

Director of retail sales at Omega PLC James Bishton explains why now is the right time to launch its Novus brand of handleless kitchen furniture

04 Sep, 23

Director of retail sales at Omega PLC James Bishton explains why now is the right time to launch its Novus brand of handleless kitchen furniture

Omega launches Novus brand

Q: Where did the name come from and why did you decide to launch the Novus brand?

Latin for ‘new’, Novus is a dedicated brand of handleless kitchens and sits alongside English Rose, Mackintosh, Sheraton and Chippendale.

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Omega has both a traditional and modern Shaker offer with an element of contemporary kitchens and now we’ve bolstered that with the Novus brand.

We want to attract the retail partners who specialises in contemporary style kitchens, highly predominant in the Southeast, but also across the UK.

Q: Where are you positioning the brand in terms of price structure?

A: It’s targeted at the core independent retail specialist market in the UK, which covers quite a breadth on the price ladder.

We are able to meet that spread with our Novus products from painted to cut and edge MFC doors and everything between.

It really fills the gap in our proposition to offer a true handleless kitchen. It’s the same specification as the rest of our kitchens, glued and dowelled true rigid furniture.

At one end of the price scale, retailers can win volume contract business on price through our MFC collection, while at the other is smooth painted doors, with super matt finishes.

We’ll be talking to existing customers where they see the opportunity for sales and new customers where we have got geographical gaps in our network.

We’ve been known as a solid operational business for many years, with good service levels and capability. But from a trends perspective, this now completes our offer and makes a very compelling, comprehensive range.

Q&A | A closer look at…Novus

Q: What is the size and scale of the Novus range?

A: It’s vast because it’s made to order. We’ve got 22 painted colours and non-painted doors in various colours, styles and range, which we hold in stock in our new warehouse.

There are 100% recycled doors, super matt in a choice of six colours and all our MFC doors in plain and woodgrain finishes.

In phase two, we’re looking to add a made-to-measure custom panels, as our research found it was something our customers would like. It will be introduced towards the back end of 2023.

Q: What are the USPs of Novus and buying from Omega, as opposed to a manufacturer which has specialised in handleless kitchens?

A: We have stability of business and reliability of service. We also feel there is an opportunity with our speed of supply. So the lead time is 2-3 weeks for Novus non-painted kitchens and 3-4 weeks for painted.

Retailers can also make amendments to their order up to 10 days prior to delivery.

So, from a retailer’s point of view, we can provide operational advantages and deliver the kitchen when they need it.

We can enhance their service proposition to their customer with our capability and lead times. We’ve also pledged to freeze our prices until February 2024, so retailers can quote in confidence.

Q&A | A closer look at…Novus 1

Q:  Why have you decided to launch the Novus brand now?

We are launching it now because we have invested in the plant and built the capability in the factory. We are not saying this is a new concept to the market, but it’s new to Omega.

We know there’s a growing need for kitchens of this style and our retailers want them delivered right first time, complete, with a swift, efficient service.

Q: What is your ambition for the Novus range?

We’re building a platform for 2024. It’s about taking the business forward.

We reached £60million turnover last year and we want to continue growing beyond that.

We’ve always had the operational strength but now we’ve got highly aspirational products to significantly grow Omega business, and we are continually reinvesting to develop.

There’s no reason why Novus can’t become a very strong part of the mix and, in time, provide up to a third of the sales potential.

Q&A | A closer look at…Novus 2

Q: How do you see the kitchen market developing?

Whether the market grows or not, it doesn’t mean you can’t increase your own market share, so our current focus is to develop product that appeals to independent kitchen specialists.

There’s obviously cost of living impacting the market at the moment, and everyone is feeling the pinch in mortgages, food bills etc.

It’s just about when pent-up demand potential can be released, then we’ll be in a position to capitalise on that with our ever-growing offer.