NEWS | Round-up

Former Hansgrohe boss takes control at Bristan

THE BRISTAN Group has announced the appointment of former Hansgrohe MD, Martin Mongan (pictured), as its new CEO. Mongan – who left Hansgrohe in 2019 to join publishing company Mix Interiors – returns to the bathroom industry in February 2021 as head of the Bristan Group.

He succeeds former CEO, Darius

Padler, who left the business at the end of 2020.

Padler said: “Martin is a well-known and well-liked industry character with a history of delivering exceptional sales growth in the businesses he has led. This is an exciting appointment for the Group.”

Mongan is a well-respected industry figure, with over 25 years of experience, having held senior roles at both Kohler Mira and Jacuzzi, before joining Hansgrohe in 2011. During his eight-year tenure at Hansgrohe, Mongan

helped develop the UK

return to the industry Mongan said: “Bristan Group is a strong and solid business that has grown market share in 2020, creating a brilliant platform for future success.

“I’m looking forward to working with

business into a leading brand within the retail and specification channels, delivering exponential growth in terms of revenue and profit.

In a statement Bristan said the appointment follows “a high-performing year where the business has grown market share in all channels”. Speaking of his appointment and

the team and taking the business forward onto the next stage of its journey; steering it through the challenges presented by Covid, Brexit, and changing customer behaviour, to ensure that the Group continues to deliver exceptional products and services for its customers, and profitable growth for its shareholders.” Ken Ellis, the Group’s chief financial officer will act as Interim CEO of the Bristan Group until Mongan takes up his new position.

Owned by US home-improvement giant Masco, Bristan Group is the parent company of the Bristan, Heritage and Cascade brands. The Hansgrohe brand is also owned by Masco.

New shower tray manufacturer launches

A NEW UK shower tray manufacturer, Private Room, has entered the market, promising a robust UK-sourced supply chain and no sales through third party online vendors.

It was founded by Jon Fudge, Brian Edwards and John Tanner last year. Both Fudge and Edwards have been involved in manufacturing shower trays for 15 years, while Tanner is new to the industry. The new company plans to source materials from the UK so it can better control the supply chain and product quality, and promises not to make the brand available through third parties online so as to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ on pricing.

Managing director Jon Fudge said:

“We aim to source all our raw materials from within the UK, thus giving control over our supply chain and providing retailers confidence in our quality and delivery. This is just part of our promise to retailers. We believe in supporting them with a fair pricing structure and ensuring our products are not available via third parties online, avoiding the all-too-common ‘race to the bottom’ discount pricing strategy.

“As the Private Room team are new to the industry, we are constantly consulting with our agents and retailers and learning all the time – an approach they find refreshing.”

The company started manufacturing at the start of 2020, but plans were temporarily put on hold as the pandemic began. The business had to


diversify and started to produce safety screens for retail and hospitality in response to the pandemic. Fudge added: “We had to change our strategy quickly to react to the new climate. By combining our experience and skills, we were able to set up and start manufacturing acrylic safety screens to help the retail and hospitality market, while continuing development of our first shower tray range.

“2020 was the most difficult year

many of us have ever experienced. After the initial disruption, we took the remainder of the year as an opportunity to build upon our foundations, which will enable us to hit the ground running in 2021.”

The Revelation shower tray was launched last September, which is

initially available in five natural granite- effect shades. The most recent launch is aimed at the cost-conscious client and is a Glacier White gloss tray. The company has worked with Virtual Worlds to make the products available in its design software. Shower wall panels that will complement the current trays will also launch soon. These will be available in a number of sizes. This year, Private Room will release its new Art in the Bathroom shower walls and are a variety of artists’ styles to suit the more individual customer.

The brand has a number of other new launches planned including Shower wall panels and the Serenity and Heavenly trays, which will be offered in new colourways.

Pictured left to right: Brian Edwards, technical director, John Tanner, commercial director and Jon Fudge, managing director

The future of retail is high street independents, says expert

THE LOCKDOWNS have made consumer seek out more personal connections in their shopping journeys, according to one prominent retail expert. Speaking on an episode of

the award-winning kbbreview Podcast, Tim Nash (pictured) from retail experiences agencyWild VC, said that these connections give independent retailers a unique opportunity. “The future of retail is in personal

brand connections,” Nash said. “All the terrible things that have happened have made people reassess how we communicate with each other and connect with things – we’ve reassessed our values.

“The brands that have been really successful in this period, and will be successful going forward, are the ones that have really taken the time to look

their values and how they engage with these consumers.” At the end of last year we saw the collapse of classic high street retail brands such as TopShop, Debenhams and Bon Marche – failures that Nash says can be traced back to a lack of focus on community connections to their demographics.


“I’m really passionate about it because I think the future of retail lies in our local high streets creating local experiences for the community they serve,” Nash said. “We’ve moved out of our offices and worked from home. Now, I think we’ll go back to the office eventually, but what we’ve gained in 2020 is this connection back to our local community. “But there’s massive work for local councils and high streets to do in invigorating that but there’s some fantastic independent businesses and the people who work in there are so passionate about their businesses, their products and connecting with people in their communities.”

• Hear the full interview with Tim Nash on The kbbreview Podcast at

· January 2021

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