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NEWS | Round-up VIEWPOINT I won’t be changing


my optimistic outlook TKC CEO Roy Saunders looks ahead to a new year when Brexit will be sorted, consumer confidence will improve and business will continue to grow


Challenging outlook for UK shower equipment market


AS THE shower market reaches maturity in the UK, a new report said that the outlook for the UK shower equipment market at the end of 2019 remains challenging and that market growth will be influenced by the economic environment and consumer and business confidence.


The Shower Market Report, from AMA


Research, said that moderate to steady growth of 2% to 4% a year is currently forecast from 2020 until 2023. The report said that longer-term prospects


AND JUST like that, Christmas was over and 2019 was finished. It’s probably my age, but the years seem to be passing faster and the speed that I overindulge at isn’t getting any slower. So, what’s on your resolution list for 2020? On a personal level, I feel like I’m seeing a big rise in veganism, but I’ve not got any plans to join the movement just yet. Chris Froome, our four-times winner of the Tour de France, is a new fan, but I’m certainly not one of his skeletal frame, to be honest.


Even the MD of Greggs recently announced his plans to turn to the plant side – a PR stunt perhaps, but they certainly hit the headlines last year more than once with their launch of a vegan sausage roll.


In the search for presents last December, I came across


I’ve always likened a


a cook book called ‘How to be a Vegan and Keep your Friends’. I didn’t buy it, but it looks like you would be more likely to win friends now than lose them. I’ll take my chances. This year, I’ll be making a concerted effort to spend more time with family. My daughter’s got university decisions to make, my son’s got important exams and I’m still in debt to Mrs Saunders for multiple years spent away from home. Last year, on a business front, I


sales number to a bucket with a hole in the bottom


vowed to talk more to customers and suppliers whether visiting them, hosting them or talking to them on the phone. We hosted a record number of customers and potential customers at TKC last year and I was delighted


to see so many new faces. I’ve always likened a sales number to a bucket with a


hole in the bottom, you never know what will fall out, so it’s important to keep searching for new business while looking after existing customers.


Who would have predicted the demise of Premier Kitchens late last year? My sympathies to everyone involved, hopefully they’ll find new employment soon if they haven’t done so already.


The outlook for our high streets though is a tough one, as consumers continue with transactions online. Mothercare and Mamas and Papas look as if they’ll be disappearing, even though the nation’s population isn’t shrinking. Mothercare was an authority when I grew up. Without them, where am I going to get the right advice for products when my first grandchild arrives later this year? I much prefer to talk to someone face to face than have one of those fruitless ‘online chats’.


One thing I won’t be changing in 2020 is my optimistic outlook, foolish or otherwise. My wish is that Brexit will finally be sorted, consumer confidence will improve, resulting in a positive economy and, all things being equal, our business at TKC will continue to grow. Well, at least I can control one of them. A happy and prosperous new year to everyone in our KBB sector.


6


are more positive, with overall market development expected to improve across the review period, following a more subdued performance in the short term. There is a significant and ongoing demand


for replacement products, the report stated, with manufacturers offering “easy-to-install and -replace” showering equipment in order


to encourage upgrades. AMA Research said that digital showers are set to grow at a steady rate in line with the use of digital technology and smart devices around the home. This sector, it said, will continue to take share from other shower control sectors, particularly mixer and power showers.


Lifestyle and design trends are also supporting


the refurbishment market with the desire for improved style and design in the home. Flexibility, durability and ease of use are also key requirements and are influencing the shift towards higher value products. House-building volumes are set to remain stable despite the uncertainty currently surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU. Prospects remain positive in this sector and will support demand for shower equipment installed in new build homes.


Bauformat opens first UK training centre


BAUFORMAT KITCHENS has launched its first training centre in the UK within KBB retailer Clearly Interiors in Burnley. The newly refurbished showroom has space for training sessions for up to eight retailers or installers and the largest number of Bauformat displays in a single showroom in the UK.


Bauformat owner Delf Baumann (pictured cutting the ribbon) said: “It is great to be opening the showroom here in Burnley. It is the largest showroom for Bauformat in the UK and is one of the most fascinating showrooms I have seen. We show more than 25 displays, which are wonderful bespoke kitchens. “The UK is an important market for us. It has always been and will always be important for our export business. Although politics try to make us a bit uncertain – I am not uncertain. We will always work together.”


Adam Schofield and Paul Capstick, directors of Clearly Interiors, were approached by Bauformat as the pair had a long-standing working friendship with Bob Marsden, Bauformat country manager for the UK and Ireland.


Marsden told kbbreivew: “This [the training


facility] represents our friendship – it sounds corny, but it wouldn’t have happened without that. They were just the perfect people, not just for where they are, but how they think.” The whole of Clearly Interiors’ top floor has been renovated to include the 25 displays, showing the full spectrum of Bauformat products – from the top to its affordable range Burger. Clearly Interiors also sells bedroom, bathroom and home-cinema


solutions. Paul Capstick told kbbreview: “So many people in the industry are too complacent that they have the knowledge and I don’t think that you can train anyone enough in product knowledge. It is an ongoing task daily, with new things coming out every day from the fitters’ training to being able to read the manuals correctly. “We wanted to be able to show our customers – retail, domestic, or commercial – everything under one roof. We stumbled across Bauformat due to connections, and we then found that they were just genuine guys to work with – I usually say hand in glove, and the glove fits the hand.” According to Marsden, training days will have a practical aspect to them and the intimate nature of the training days will mean that retailers will be able to get to know each other better and be able to ask questions.


The first training session will be held at the end of Q1 2020 and will be taken by a training manager who will come over from Germany to go through the German training program. A bespoke UK-specific programme will be finalised soon. The location of the showroom is just off the M65 on the outskirts of Burnley, and the UK Bauformat team decided this was more appropriate than a showroom in London. Marsden also said that he believes that this will be easier to get retailers in for training compared with going out to Germany.


He said: “It is always difficult to get people in for training. It is very well known in the industry that people don’t want to travel very far.


kbbreview · January 2020


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