EDITOR’S COMMENT: Let the good times roll, again!

24 Sep, 14

The industry is looking up with positive turnout at 100% Design and the KBSA AGM

Despite not wanting to sound like a rose-tinted glasses optimist (journalists are seldom optimists, perhaps because their glass is rarely left full), the industry has got its mojo back! Huzzah! It was reflected not only by the upbeat London Design Week, with the likes of 100% Design drawing the crowds but also by the turn out at the recent KBSA AGM. The association, which has struggled for visible support over recent years, had nearly as many retailers as corporate members attending. It was a massive move forward from the bleak times when it could barely raise a quorum. And it showcased genuine drive and aptitude to recruit more kitchen and bathroom retailers into its fold.
With a renewed focus on appealing to the consumer, and following a survey of its current members, the KBSA has created a new look with the Strapline “proud to be” KBSA approved. This, along with a revamped website and social media to attract sales leads for retailers, (50 in the past two weeks), plus marketing materials to help explain about KBSA benefits in store, sees the association put its money where its mouth has been. Let’s not quibble over ‘hasn’t the KBSA tried to focus on consumers before? Remember the shark advert?’ this seems to be a new breed of KBSA. It appears polished and proficient, resembling the authority it has been – but long should have been perceived as – for independent retailers. Of course it still has a long way to go to enlist retailers and unequivocally represent the independent sector, but this is as close as it’s ever looked.
In a market which is picking up – as all economic indicators seem to report, not least by kitchen and bathroom retailers – perhaps now is the time to consider aligning to a professional association? And there’s not just the KBSA, there’s the FKBD, BKDA, FPB, SBID, iKBBI, FIRA.
Take a look at all the organisations out there and see which one best suits your business. Pointing out quality service and expert knowledge to potential customers, all tied up with a membership of a professional association, could give you the lead in what may be increasingly busy marketplace. But let’s not forget it’s still a highly competitive market too.