Independent retailers are better placed than they think says group chairman of Crosswater Holdings David Hance
We are a nation of internet shoppers – but do consumers really want to buy something as important – and potentially complex as a bathroom without the advice and back up of an experienced salesman? A recent high profile TV campaign from an internet bathroom seller portrayed the salesman as a nuisance who comes between the consumer and the bathroom dream? But according to a survey we carried out, ahead of The Bathroom Sale, over 50% of 1000 respondents from a mixed selection of age groups and regions said they would prefer to buy from a showroom where expert advice and a wide selection of products were available.
What consumers want
The survey also looked at what British buyers really want from their bathrooms – with storage, easy cleaning, good design and power showering coming high on the list. The upturn in the housing market means more consumers are looking for bathrooms – and to meet the need for choice, value and really good advice. It’s obvious to me that bricks definitely have it over clicks when it comes to a big ticket buy such as a bathroom. We know from the survey power showers are important but unless the consumer has a thorough understanding of water systems, it is very easy to buy the wrong thing. This won’t happen in a showroom as the salesman will be able to give expert, well informed and experienced advice.
Local best bet
Local bathroom retailers remain the very best place to receive high quality technical and design advice, to touch and test drive quality products, arrange a home survey, receive full 3D bathroom layouts, arrange the best installation, offer product and installation guarantees, plus full support and back up service. They are experts in design and technological advancements that cover things like water-saving and digital technology, plumbing and electrical regulations. Crosswater has built its business through some of the toughest years by supporting independent retail showrooms and offering first class customer service. Retailers should feel confident as we climb out of recession that they are in the best position to increase their businesses.