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kbbreview Retailer Survey 2020 | RETAIL


What are your biggest challenges?


If anything has dominated the headlines in the past two years it’s Brexit. While it’s looking likely post- election that the UK will actually leave the EU, the uncertainty of the outcome has caused havoc in the business community. Or has it? It’s certainly been the narrative of the past couple of years, but our survey would suggest that while its infl uence has not been insignifi cant, it is far down the list of trials facing our retailers. In 2017 we didn’t include it in our survey, but this time it was seen by 30% as their biggest challenge. However, in 2017, a massive 57% of them said


Who fi ts your projects?


In our 2017 survey, fi nding good fi tters came out top of our list of biggest challenges facing our retailers. Has that shifted at all two years later? The short answer is no. Overall, 38% of retailers said they employ their own fi tters, virtually the same as 2017, 44% use subcontractors and 18% a mix of both – again, identical to 2017. There is a slight drop in the number of kitchen retailers using their own fi tters – falling from 50% to 43%.


However a third of bathroom


retailers now


use their own, a jump from a quarter last time. ANALYSIS: Are we slowly but surely approaching a fi tting crisis? No real movement in how retailers get their projects fi tted suggests that the hunt for good fi tters has not moved on. As we’ll see, it’s still a massive issue that will need to be addressed by the industry.


38%


Retailers who employ their own fi tters


30%


Retailers that see organic


growth as their best option


January 2020 · kbbreview


Where are the areas of growth?


If business is pretty good, where is it coming from? As in 2017, the two biggest areas were very simple – higher-value pro - jects and straightforward organic growth – 28% and 30% respectively. It follows on from this that a relatively low 10% see the need to diversify into other areas. A third of bathroom retailers – up from 23% in 2017 – see installation


and project


management as a main area of growth. In kitchens that


fi gure stayed static at 10%. Selling online is still totally rejected with just 2% of all our retailers saying they saw it as an area of growth. ANALYSIS: Over a third of bathroom retailers see online as their biggest competitor yet they emphatically do not see it as an area of growth for themselves.


So many


retailers see natural growth as their future rather than diversifi cation or big investments.


Retailers who said


fi nding good fi tters was their biggest challenge


57


fi nding good fi tters was the hardest part of the business. Two years later and, despite Brexit, it remains the single biggest challenge – the proportion has dropped slightly to 50% – but it’s still a massive issue that doesn’t seem to be shifting by much. There is a difference between the sectors too –


the number jumps to 59% for kitchen retailers and drops to 44% for bathroom. Away from fi tters and Brexit, the big split in the sectors comes in competing with online dealers – in the bathroom side it has shot up from 59% of retailers to 67% – it’s an issue that is getting more and more vital. It has actually dropped slightly for kitchen retailers from 30% to 15% now saying it’s their biggest challenge – are appliance manufacturers fi nally getting on top of this issue? ANALYSIS: Brexit? What Brexit? The political machinations in Westminster are seemingly a distraction to the real issue of fi nding good people to fi t kitchens and bathrooms, and it could be argued that solving that long-term problem might be just as diffi cult. The industry needs to collectively do more to address this issue or skilled fi tters will end up being rarer than a Lib Dem MP…


„ 50%


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