Sonas Bathrooms | “We’re a significant partner to most retailers in Ireland”

Dublin-based bathroom brand Sonas Bathrooms has expanded to the UK and CEO Richard Sloan is looking to replicate its success on the mainland

06 Mar, 23

Dublin-based bathroom brand Sonas Bathrooms has expanded to Great Britain and CEO Richard Sloan is looking to replicate its success on the mainland

Sonas Bathrooms | “We’re a significant partner to most retailers in Ireland"

Pictured left to right: Area sales manager of Northwest/West Midlands Paul Harris, area sales manager of Northest/East Midlands Leon Varrier, CEO Sonas Ireland and UK Richard Sloan, area saes manager for Southeast Chris Bosher and area sales manager for Anglia North Greater London Doug Jones



Having traded in Ireland for 45 years, Sonas Bathrooms is now entering the British market and plans to establish a network of independent retailers.

Although new to Great Britain, the Dublin-based business is “a pretty significant partner to most retailers in Ireland”, explains CEO Richard Sloan.

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Operating from an 135,000ft headquarters, Sonas Bathrooms employs around 100 people and has a turnover of €50million.

Following an MBO in late 2021, led by Richard Sloan, the business now has a long-term ambition to replicate its success on the mainland.

Service and supply

Supplying bathroom suites, furniture, brassware, baths, mirrors and heated towel rails, Richard Sloan describes Sonas Bathrooms as a “product driven” business, which is positioned for the mid-market.

Sonas Bathrooms | “We’re a significant partner to most retailers in Ireland" 1

At its Dublin-based HQ, Sonas Bathrooms has a 5,000sqft showroom featuring its product portfolio


He continues: “We offer quality products, very well designed and engineered, that are fully compliant with some very interesting product features, affordable and accessible for the wider cohort of the market.”

Recognising the mid-market market can be a crowded space, Sloan pinpoints key areas of differentiation of the Sonas Bathroom business.: What would Sonas be famous for if you were to speak to our Irish customers? I think service is certainly key”, he exclaims.

“A key proposition of our business is around service, supply and availability.”

Operating 24 hours a day, the company has 11,000 pallets of active stock, reports fulfilment rates of around 96-97% first time and operates a next-day delivery in Ireland.

It currently offers a 3-4 day, duty paid delivery to UK customers, but has longer-term plans to invest in a UK warehouse and stockholding.

Currently investing £500,000 upgrading its ERP and warehouse management system, Sloan adds: “It’s sensible to have a presence in market for the first year to build up a better sense of the product sales mix and volume.”

In addition, Sloan also points to the level of customer support offered by the company, as a point of differentiation, with its after sales and technical team,

Sonas Bathrooms employs fully qualified plumbers who support product development through to technical support for installers.

UK growth

But the current challenging economic backdrop, why has the business chosen now as the time to expand across the Irish Sea?

Sonas Bathrooms | “We’re a significant partner to most retailers in Ireland" 2

Positioned for the mid-market, Sonas Bathrooms portfolio includes Aluta taps, showers and complementary accessories, including a Knurled Basin Mixer in Brushed Nickle


Sloan explains: “When everything is booming, people are busy just trying to keep on top of business.

“Naturally when things are a little bit quieter and I understand, on a macro level, things have tightened up a bit, it’s a good time to come into the market because people have more time to consider new brands and new opportunities.”

He continues: “There’s still a very strong demand for home improvement and even if the overall volume in the market were to cool down a little bit, it still presents an absolutely fantastic opportunity for Sonas as a new brand.

“I think the overall value of investment and level of specification that end customers are looking to put into their homes has grown and I think that maintains a fanatic opportunity for bathroom suppliers the length and breadth of the UK.”

Having employed a four-strong (and soon to be five) sales team in Britain, Sloan reports there has been great support from retailers: “Obviously it’s very early days. Our new sales team has been in the market for the last couple of weeks, and so far I have to say the reaction has been hugely positive.

“Retailers have been very welcoming. We have had a lot of complements about the product offering and value for money we’re offering, which gives retailers an opportunity to make a margin.”

He adds: “The fact that we are new and won’t be over exposed and over distributed gives retailers something new to get behind.”

Showroom ambitions

Sloan exclaims the UK presents a “fantastic” opportunity for Sonas as a brand but what are his expectations within the first 12 months?

Sonas Bathrooms | “We’re a significant partner to most retailers in Ireland" 3

Sonas Bathrooms has 11,000 pallets of active stock at its Irish warehouse and offers British retailers 3-4 days delivery on its products, which includes Via, a close-coupled rimless WC with 4/2.6 litre flush.


“We obviously want to grow and build a network of retail customers, but until we bed in and have some meaningful conversations with customers, it’s quite difficult to say with accuracy what year one might look like”, says Sloan, adding “but if we have 150-200 showrooms that would be a great success.”

And Sloan describes his “bull’s eye” retailer: “It would be somebody who sees the value in the Sonas brand and wishes to align themselves with commitment on showroom displays and get behind the portfolio of products.

“So rather than selling our products because an existing supplier is out of stock, we would like to build a plan with customers where they can commit in a more material and meaningful way with Sonas.”

How would Sonas define this level of commitment? “Being able to present a full suite offering, would be the ideal scenario. So that’s the kind of commitment we would be hoping to achieve”, replies Sloan.

In return, the brand will share investment in the displays, provide POS with the prospect of joint branding, and offer training in-store.

There will also be opportunity to visit the Sonas Bathrooms HQ, which boasts a 5,000sqft showroom, which Sloan says supports decision-making for end customers, retailers and specifiers.

He adds: “Within that, we have a full testing area, where we can demonstrate how we test products as part of the new product development and also within the aftersales and technical support.”

Winning business

So does Sonas Bathrooms have a particular brand in its sights? Sloan says not, stating the UK is a fragmented market and is respectful of competition: “There’s a lot of opportunity out there for everybody, and I suppose it’s up to each brand to do the best by their customers and hopefully win their hearts and minds.

“That’s what Sonas has always tried to do – put the customer at the heart of all their decision making and do the right thing by the customer. If you do the right thing, usually business should follow.”

He concludes: “The response we have received so far from the market has been encouraging. We’re very ambitious and very optimistic that if we do the right things there’s great opportunity to build the brand and continue the growth of our business.”