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February 2020 ertonline.co.uk


Q: So you expanded your Bristol site last year and you now have more room for customer training. How important is that to Caple? DL: I think it’s really important. We’ve got such an extensive collection of high-quality appliances, which look fantastic in brochures and customers’ showrooms. However, unless these are working models which can be used properly, it’s difficult for a retailer to fully demonstrate their advantages when compared to others in the same category. If retailers and designers have more confidence in


a product range, they tend to upsell too, from higher value items to add-ons. So, inviting customers to our Caple Experience Centre has plenty of advantages. We’ve had such a good response regarding training


already. We’re running cookery training days every week where six to eight people produce a variety of dishes, so they can fully experience the quality of our appliances.


Q: What have been some of Caple’s standout products over the last year then? DL: Our sinks and taps in coloured steel have produced standout collections for us with copper and gunmetal finishes in high demand. We’ve also extended our portfolio with bigger appliances, such as our ovens, hobs, hoods and wine cabinets. There’s a definite move towards monotone kitchens, so by far the majority of our kitchens feature a grey colour scheme. Gold is also becoming more prevalent for the designer kitchen; we haven’t extended this colour to appliances, but we do already offer this as a luxury finish in our sinks and taps collection. We’ve seen more hob combinations featuring induction downdrafts, as customers are moving away from the hood on the wall to extraction within the hob. In fact, we’ve combined the induction downdraft with plasma technology. This process is


state-of-the-art as it will remove 100 per cent of the odours in the air so you don’t have to vent outside. The odours are drawn in and pass over high voltage copper wires which create plasma that effectively zaps the odour particles out of the air to make it fresh. This air then simply recirculates in the room. Plasma technology was developed some years ago – it has been used to scrub the air from bacteria in environments such as hospitals and it was used in the NASA International Space Station too! For 2020, we will extend our range to include


more cooker hoods at an affordable price. We are beginning to see other colours in kitchen furniture too, which look set to be high in demand, such as greens, pinks and pastel shades. At KBB Birmingham [the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design show] this year, we will be launching products in gunmetal, copper, gold and at least one other colour, so that’s quite exciting.


Q: Talking of KBB Birmingham, what are your plans for this year’s show? DL: We’ve got a very exciting new stand design this year; we always redesign our stand for KBB. We’ve got a 200 square metre platform bang in the centre of the show. Showcasing at KBB Birmingham really cements our relationships with existing customers, from independent kitchen specialists to builders’ merchants. We see architects, designers and specialist buyers at the show too, which really opens up the market. We always display new products – I think we’ve got 30 or 40 new products on the stand in March, some of which will be prototypes for launch later this year. It’s a great place for product research! We’ll be launching a new range of cooking


products that will be Wi-Fi enabled. We already have meat probes within our ovens that can connect to your handheld device. In fact, we’re extending this


15


been affected by the political environment and Brexit really put the brakes on people’s confidence in buying high value products,” he tells ERT Editor, Jack Cheeseman, in this exclusive interview. “The stagnation we’ve been through over the


last three years has not helped our industry or the economy, so I think anything that breaks that deadlock has got to be good news. “We’ve been working harder to offer high-


performance products to the industry,” continues Mr Lay, “and I am pretty positive – I think we have to be. As long as we stay focused and do what we do best, I think we’ll continue to be successful.”


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