HiB | “New normal” growth

MD of HiB Robert Ginsberg looks at trading in the "new normal" and says the kbb industry can bounce back

17 Aug, 20

Managing director of HiB Robert Ginsberg looks at trading in the “new normal” and says the kbb industry can bounce back

HiB MD named in Top 50 Ambitious Leaders


It has been a tough few months for the kitchen and bathroom industry, with a lot of uncertainty surrounding when retailers and showrooms can reopen and at what capacity.

Across the industry we have had to adapt to trading in a new environment, with new lines of communications and a change of approach.

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But as the months have rolled past, there have been a great deal of positive steps made and though there are still a lot of challenges that businesses have to face, there is clearly room for growth.

Phased operations

At HiB, we split the impact of Covid-19 into a number of phases. The first phase was the immediate response, tackling how to continue trading with the new measures in place.

We set up an impact team, to ensure clear communication to all stakeholders.

Priority was given to the wellbeing of our staff and reorganising the business to a remote workforce.

Once this was achieved, we turned our attentions to phases two and three – planning the business environment.

Though some restrictions are still in place, we are already becoming more aware that the world is going to be a different place to what it once was.

Shopping habits are changing, but reassuringly the customers are still out there.

Some experts are suggesting that there may be an upturn in home improvements as a result of the pandemic, with more people choosing to invest in their property rather than go on a family holiday.

How far that will go remains to be seen, but in the meantime, we have prepared plans concentrating on how we will increase communication with customers and streamline processes to improve access to information.

Buying changes

With more people using the internet than ever before, there is a clear advantage for retailers that make the most of ‘digital’.

Virtual showroom tours, video appointments and interactive design software can make the buying process personalised without the need for entering a store.

However, no-one can doubt that there is still a place for the showroom and tactile displays are a huge benefit for customers who want to feel the quality and see the sizing in the real world.

With this in mind, putting in place an appointment system may benefit some retailers.

Not only does it ensure staff and customer safety and maintain the social distancing guidelines, it also allows them the opportunity to spend more time with serious customers, giving them a personalised service and taking the time to really understand their needs.

That is perhaps where the key lies for the future of retail, more choice and more methods to help customers through the buying process.

As manufacturers we also need to make sure we can support retailers with this, which is why at HiB, we make sure that all our products are featured on Virtual Worlds and InnoPlus and that online brochures are available at the touch of a button.

Bounce back

Despite the current situation, we are excited for the future and I believe the industry can bounce back and thrive in the months ahead.

At HiB, we have been using this time to focus our attention on product designs and innovations and there are new ranges being finalised ready for launch in the coming months.

From a business point of view, a moment like this gives you the opportunity to take stock and prepare for the next stage of our journey.

We are refocusing our efforts towards our company vision, to be the leading supplier of innovative, creative solutions which make bathrooms beautiful, whilst making a substantial difference to the lives of our people, partners and the world we live in – even if that world is a little different to what we previously imagined.