Embrace national retailers

MD of Coalville Kitchens Luke Wedgbury says love the 'big boys' of retail

04 Feb, 20

Managing director of Coalville Kitchens Luke Wedgbury explains why you should embrace national retailers and love the ‘big boys’ of retail

Embrace national retailers


Let me tell you a story.  It’s a normal day in the showroom and as the day draws to a close we get a walk in. How very dare they enter at 15:59 without an appointment!

He’s clutching a quote in one hand and brochure in the other. Does this sound familiar?

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I see my designer slump in her seat. Why? Because she knows full well this client is doing the rounds and is looking for a deal. A tyre kicker.

Call it what you like but we’ve all done it in one way, shape or form. It’s a natural human instinct.  It’s how we’ve been programmed to shop and it’s ok!

“Hi, I’ve had a quote from **** and was wondering if you guys could give me a comparison?” “No, we can’t” was the reply from us.  The shock and horror across the face of this young man was priceless.

Nationals can’t compete

Now relax, this story is not going where you think it’s going.

You might be thinking we explain we’re not interested and send him packing. But on the contrary and here’s why.

I’ve trained my designers to embrace the nationals! I have a training document on this very subject.

We love ‘em and so should you.  Really? (I hear you ask) Yes, because they simply can’t compete with independents like us. In fact they can’t get anywhere near us!

While this “walk in” thinks he’s shopping around, he’s not.

He’s looking for the right company to deliver the right product that can solve his problems.

He’s looking for his desired outcome. He’s looking to be educated.

How do I know this?  Because if the other kitchen companies had done their job in the first place he wouldn’t still be looking for a kitchen at all.

“We can’t give you a comparison because what we offer is very different”.  And so our pitch begins.

This perception that we, as independents, can’t compete with the nationals is utter nonsense. It boils my blood.

Yes, sometimes they will beat us on price.  But that’s it, nothing else. And if your clients are buying on price, then let the nationals have them.

Sell yourself

Our true value is in what we do, not what we promise.

We have a unique opportunity to serve a client in a way no other industry can.

When you look at how much a new kitchen can cost it’s hitting the £30,000, £40,000 and £50,000mark on a regular basis. It’s a massive purchase in a client’s lifetime.

Could you go and purchase a brand new Mercedes from a Mercedes garage and get the owner of Mercedes working on your order, personally looking after you, visiting your property and organising the whole shebang?  No, you couldn’t. Impossible!

But a client could purchase a kitchen from you and meet the business owner, have a coffee, bounce ideas off you and know that you’re investing your time in them. How bloody amazing is that?

How reassuring is it knowing the top person is working every day in the business to deliver that desired outcome to all clients?  Not just because they have to but because it’s their name above the door, they have a vested interest.

Is that you? I suspect it is at some level.

Anyway, my story ends with the client who walked in at 15:59 with a £12,000 budget and a quote from a national retailer and three weeks’ later is spending £19,000 with us.

How? Because we educated him and boy did he need it. We sold him our value.

Stop selling kitchens and start selling yourself and that amazing business you run! Because the big boys can’t compete