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Q&A BKU AWARDS SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT


Investing for success – a great year ahead for doors and accessories!


In the run up to the prestigious BKU Awards this summer, we are delighted to be profiling our Awards sponsors. Here, we hear from Northern Ireland’s Uform, award-winning distributor of doors and accessories, on the importance of recognising investment in innovation, and building on success in 2017 to make 2018 the best year yet.


Tell us about your company Uform is an award-winning, market-leading company located in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, distributing a comprehensive range of doors and accessories to kitchen retailers and manufacturers throughout the UK & Ireland. The company currently employs 180 people and operates from a purpose built 170,000 sq. ft factory. Under our leading consumer brand, Kitchen Stori, we offer 18 door styles, 27 paint colours, 14 unique finishes, a colour matching service and a range of special sizes. Uform’s latest innovative products and unbeatable turnaround times will allow retailers to efficiently and confidently serve their clients, ensuring complete customer satisfaction. Being a trusted partner and helping retailers to succeed, prosper and grow, is deep rooted in our DNA.


Why have you decided to become a sponsor again this year?


We’ve reached 25 years in business this year, we’ve just launched our biggest offering to date at KBB 2018 and we’ve recently refreshed our corporate Uform brand, so we have lots to celebrate and lending our support to BKU for the fourth year running seems like another positive way to project our company among industry peers.


How important is it to have an industry event like the BKU Awards?


The kitchen and bathroom industry in the UK is a hugely competitive market place and it’s important therefore to be able to recognise companies which continually invest in innovation, and retailers who are successfully growing in their own right by selling leading brands. A dedicated industry awards is the perfect way to do this and it injects excitement and healthy competition among companies!


What are some of the challenges facing the sector this year?


Considerable uncertainty over what will happen post-Brexit will bring lots of challenges to the industry. Most companies source product from a European-based supply chain and this, coupled with the fluctuations in the exchange rate, could pose problems. The UK jobs market could also be adversely affected, with potential shortages in the pool of skilled labour due to restrictions and border controls on the free movement of labour.


10 BKU MAY 2018


Where do you see opportunities for your company in 2018?


We enjoyed phenomenal success at KBB 2018, over achieving on our target in terms of new business opportunities so that coupled with our most diverse offering yet will certainly pave the way for future growth. We’re very positive about the future, and the partnerships we will continue to build with our retailers through sales and product training, promotional incentives and on- going support in terms of marketing our consumer brand, Kitchen Stori.


If you could choose a commercial highlight from 2017, what would it be? We’ve experienced unprecedented levels of growth and have enjoyed success in terms of product launches and award wins but one of our


highlights would have to be investment, including the completion of a £3.2million plan which comprised of a 2.5-acre site for a 55,000 sq. ft facility and the commencement of a further 32,000 sq. ft warehouse which is due for completion in spring 2018.


What are the big trends in kitchen and bathroom retailing coming up in 2018? The industrial look kitchen is very much on trend, characterised by details such as rustic metals and minimalist furniture. Handleless doors for an overall linear look are also proving very popular in today’s modern kitchen. Traditional grained timber and timber effects in natural tones appear to be popular as well, thanks to the increase in painted colour options and homeowner’s desires to mix and match for something a little different.


Belgravia in painted Stone & Parisian Blue


Aldana


Ferro, Rezana & Zola Matte


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