Force to be reckoned with…

Editor Philippa Turrell says independents should band together in these uncertain times

17 Apr, 19

You have to hand it to the bathroom and kitchen industries, when times are tough, people are quick to band together.

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Such has been the case on social media, with erstwhile competitors expressing their sympathy for Better Bathrooms employees who lost their jobs.

This level of support is not only what give the industry it’s strength but also its irrepressible spirit.

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And in these uncertain economic times, this robustness and resilience is advantageous should consumers’ confidence be wavering about investing in a bathroom project.

After all, what could bathroom company administrations (or kitchens for that matter) hitting the national headlines mean for sales?

It should be pointed out the assets of Better Bathrooms has since been acquired by Buy It Direct.

But could these types of stories see consumers wanting to purchase a bathroom or kitchen, shunning larger brand names in a return to shopping locally?

High street retailers who are entrenched in their local community may be the first port of call for consumers who want to invest their money into home improvements.

It follow consumers turning to personal recommendations for assurance of a quality design, supply and fit projects, rather than the guaranteed lowest price on a job.

Or are we too far down the internet rabbit hole that consumers truly believe they can purchase the same experience at vastly reduced prices?

Certainly that seems to be the message heavily promoted on hotel comparison websites in their TV advertising.

And following the collapse of well-known home improvement brands, historically, did little change in the mindset or channel of spend for the consumer?

Of course, it takes education and perhaps re-education of potential customers to explain the value of buying from an independent bathroom or kitchen showroom.

And this, as it has always been, is based on design expertise, product knowledge and exemplary customer service and aftercare.

While this is common knowledge to professionals in the trade, should the wider industry work harder to continually and tirelessly promote this to the consumer?

Now is the time to show your business is incomparable, from explaining quality product choice through to showcasing application, meeting the needs and interior design aspirations of your clients.

And all this has to be tied together with outstanding customer service, tailored to each individual client’s project, that goes above and beyond a next-day delivery.

Few would be bold enough to predict the twists and turns of what the next couple of months, let alone years, will have in store.

But the comeradery of the industry should see it remain a power house in capturing consumer spend – after all consumers will always need kitchens an dbathrooms.

We all just need to come together to appeal to the consumer psyche to truly be a force to be reckoned with.