‘Kitchen sales can be very lucrative’ A summary of the webinar

The next webinar in the week was with Bill Miller, MD of The Kitchen and Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG), alongside retailers Lyn Knight, MD of Abbey Appliances, and Matthew Todd, Partner at Herbert Todd & Son. This discussion was all about retailers moving into the fitted kitchen market – the opportunities and the pitfalls.

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he UK kitchen furniture market is worth around £4 billion per year, excluding appliances. Although there are national retail chains, 25 per cent of all kitchen sales are

made by independents. A new kitchen is such an important purchase

and there is so much that consumers want to see before committing. This means that kitchen sales can be a very lucrative addition to an independent electrical business. Margins on furniture are typically around 40 to 60 per cent, so sales can really add a lot to your bottom line.


Q: So where can retailers start with this? Bill: You already have customers visiting your store to buy the appliances that they will fit into a kitchen supplied by another business – so why not offer them the opportunity to purchase the whole kitchen from you as well? There are many UK and European kitchen suppliers and manufacturers eager to do business with you. The first thing you need to consider is floor

space, as you will need to display at least three kitchen settings. You will need approximately 60 square metres. If you do not have additional floor space, you

could replace your existing built-in appliance display area with kitchens. Also, ideally incorporate a customer seating area where you can discuss their requirements away from the shop counter, and have at least one of the displays as a working display, so you can offer a cup of coffee or cookery demonstrations, for example; these are a great way to bring more people to your store.

Q: Lyn and Matthew – why did you make the move into kitchens, and how did you research the opportunity? Lyn: I did it to enhance my business. We were selling appliances and people were coming in asking for a package for a new kitchen, and there wasn’t a great deal of kitchen fitting businesses around us, so we thought it could be an extra string to our bow.

I’ve only got seven small displays – bits of

each one merged together. But it’s transformed my showroom. I am fortunate that I have electricians in the

company, and we were doing electrical work for other fitters back then, so we had our toe in the market. It was the right move for us at the right time. The research was so important. Some other

members of the Sirius Buying Group have made this move, so I spoke to them and definitely felt there was an opportunity for us.

Matthew: We had talked about it for years; it initially appeared immensely difficult to try and achieve it in terms of space and costings, but when CIH set up the partnership with DER KREIS (parent company of The Kitchen

Bathroom Buying Group) we had some really meaningful conversations about the ins and outs of it. When we started comparing these opportunities to the dwindling margins in other areas of electricals, we decided to jump straight in. We had lots of meetings about it! The team at

DER KREIS were so helpful and the success was born out of a desire to know all about it before we pushed the button and went ahead. The biggest issue we found was trying to find

space. We already had a kitchen in the store when we opened, which would whet people’s appetites but it was an outsourced company. We soon replaced this with one of our own and then took extra space from our TV and audio department – we halved our TV displays.

Lyn Knight. Bottom: Bill Miller. ERT’s Jack Cheeseman. Bottom: Matthew Todd.

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