Sales and marketing director of shower tray manufacturer JT John Schofield says add value to the sales process
I’m optimistic for bathroom retail in 2021, taking reassurance from the fact that house builders are continuing to sell houses in the volumes they are and as far in advance as August, which can only be good for the RMI market that follows behind it.
With this knowledge, I would say the market is in good shape at the moment and the momentum looks certain to carry us through the first quarter at least.
Of course we have to be realistic and there are a number of macro issues that will impact such as Brexit, and of course the sad fact that people are losing jobs, this too is likely to have an impact in the longer term.
Challenges for retailers
In the short term, there is still the challenge of customers getting products. And this is whether suppliers are UK-based manufacturing, such as JT, where the uplift after lockdown and subsequent increased demand lead times have had to be pushed out or imported.
For imported product, the challenge has been just as much, if not more of a challenge.
There have been pinch points running through the supply chain from the factory capacity through to physically getting the product into the UK.
However, we should see this situation start to ease as the shipping demand calms down and factories are able to catch up and erode the over demand.
One of the main challenges the market will continue to face is the large macro forces at play, namely Brexit and the overall impact of COVID which has and will continue to contribute to job losses, particularly on the high-street.
Add value to sales
To thrive in challenging times, as we’ve witnessed with the volatility of 2020, it’s crucial retailers are able to flex and adapt.
The retailers I see being successful are those that add value to the process – be it design, installation or all round high-level of service, that is what makes the difference.
It is always difficult when revenue may have been squeezed, but it pays off to be proactive in your marketing approach. Be different and utilise all the avenues you can.