Our magazine of moving
ideas for changing times

issue#3

Home improvements v holidays - page 5

The art of virtual networking - page 9

Behind the mask - page 3

Rising to the challenge!

Welcome to edition 3 of View and once again thank you for your continued support.

As I am writing this on the 12th August, I could not have imagined back in April that we would be facing the logistical challenges we are at the moment in August due to the incredible demand for Blum products from you our customer. We are very grateful for your continued support and I can promise that we are doing everything possible to minimise the global shortage of material for our UK customer base.

On another positive note as of the 11th August the whole of the BUK sales force is back at work and I’m sure you will be hearing from them in the near future.

Once again, the team have been working hard in putting together what we believe is content that tries to provide information that has a value to the KBB industry.

I hope you enjoy reading.

Regards


Photograph by Paul Craig

Previous page: cover image courtesy of Masterclass
see their story on page 7

Eat well to stay well

We came across these 25 immune-boosting foods and recipes to help support your body, bolster your immune system and hopefully stay healthy (or help minimize the symptoms if you should become ill).

Go to the recipes

Behind the mask

We are now all accustomed to face coverings as part of the ‘new normal’ routine when shopping and visiting other public places. In recent weeks the number of situations in which their use is mandatory has increased but in a business context the question of whether to mask-up can be confusing!

Understandably in our kbb world there has been debate particularly over what constitutes a ‘shop’ in these new rules, when clearly most of our industry carries out sales in showrooms! By the Governments own admission there is no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces due to the wide variety of work environments in different industries but there are some circumstances when wearing a face mask will be beneficial and perhaps a sensible precautionary measure.

When installers are working in the enclosed space of a private home, a mask is probably part of the necessary reassurance and peace of mind for that customer – we’d like to hear your views.

There’s a simple yet helpful guide on wearing them prepared by the World Health Organisation

Download the infographic

The official protective mask information can also be consulted here...

Read government guidelines

Stress-busting advice

Here’s a useful webinar recording from July. In it, the Stress Matters HQ team talk about how understanding and improving mental health in the workplace can increase profitability.

Watch the video now

Watch our latest video to find out how Amanda
and her colleagues are still here to help...

Amanda Hughes Is the Blum Experience Manager and she has been with the company for 4 years. In that role Amanda’s mission is to help anybody and everybody. Her fun fact is that she was named after the 1952 film ‘Mandy’ – and her own short movie can be seen here…

Contact her: theblumexperience.uk@blum.com

Home improvements v holidays

Ongoing restrictions and the added stress of travel has made people rethink how they spend their money this summer and there is evidence that our sector is benefiting from this redeployment of cash!

Over the last three months homeowners have doubled the amount of time spent improving their homes says a survey conducted by OnePoll. The study of 2,000 adults found that until the end of March, house-proud Brits would spend an average of 4 hours and 44 minutes a month making their property perfect but now it’s increased almost twice as much, to over 8 hours.

In May research from online trade directory, Checkatrade, revealed that 35% of Brits have come to dislike at least one room in their home during the Covid crisis, with kitchens and bedrooms ranking the highest. Overall people in the UK are planning to spend around £61.8 billion. According to these findings, while in lockdown, 53% of people have noticed more things wrong with their home than ever before. Almost half (47%) are feeling so frustrated by what needs doing, they would be willing to give up other treats in order to bring in a qualified tradesperson.

…continued on the next page

Home improvements

Overall people in the UK are planning to spend around £61.8 billion on their homes

Keeping it local…

In the last issue of View we reported on the state of KBB retail, since then a new campaign has been launched. The Close To Home initiative aims to promote the expertise, personal service and community knowledge of local independent retailers to consumers actively engaged in the early research stages of a kitchen, bedroom or bathroom project. It’s being organised by Taylist Media, the publisher of Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms and its spin-off website TheseThreeRooms.com.

To get involved check out the website

The stamp duty freeze has also had a positive impact. New research from comparethemarket.com confirms that 80% of homeowners, who have considered moving since lockdown began, are now more likely to do so as a result of the Chancellor’s new measures. Over half of those (57%) looking to move house are now aiming for higher value properties than before the announcement on stamp duty was made. Aside from the movers, many homeowners are continuing with home improvements in an effort to increase the value of their current property, with 32% planning to undertake some form of renovation. Of those wishing to make major improvements, the main planned projects are a new kitchen (26%) and a new bathroom (23%). So it could be good news for our industry!

Standing out from the crowd

Masterclass has a relatively unique business model which gives it a distinct advantage of being able to truly relate to the needs and challenges that independent kitchen studio customers face on a daily basis. View asked Commercial Sales Director, Steve Tough for his insights on the crisis and opportunities for the industry after coronavirus. Above all he urges others to follow their mantra – to stand out and use this time to really make a difference.

Along with an overwhelming sense of positivity for the future, Steve shared some important words of advice for kitchen retailers who might be tempted to rest on their laurels. “Continue to design boxes on walls…” at your peril he warns, as this allows direct comparison with the large multiples and sheds, “…the customer is then able to challenge on price as the control of the sale is in the customer’s hands.” One of Steve’s passionately held beliefs is that the industry needs to move away from being merely ‘order takers’ instead evolving to become ‘order makers’. The secret to achieving this, he feels, is discerning customers who actually value the products and features that are designed into their kitchen.

We are not ones to dwell on everything that has happened, we will continue to strive and move forward each and every day. 

On the subject of business interruption Steve admits that the past few months haven’t been easy but praises the great team behind him and recalls something very worthwhile coming out of all the uncertainty. Lockdown marked a milestone for Masterclass as it revealed the largest product launch in its 45-year history. Restrictions surrounding COVID-19 were the catalyst to rethinking how they delivered a launch of new products and concepts. They decided to launch digitally, which was a completely new route for Masterclass. This meant that they could speak to every single customer at the same time rather than over a five or six week period. It worked really well and nearly 100 customers joined the Q&A follow-up session four days later.

“This is without doubt the biggest and best product launch I have ever been involved with and to be one of the first in our industry to do this digitally has been absolutely invigorating!”

If kitchen specialists plan into a design, and sell the features and benefits of the products that they are offering, they will, in my eyes, be the ones that prosper both in their sales and their profitability.

In terms of what lies ahead, Steve sees there being a growing need to become much more technical in the way in which retailers sell their products. So for him it’s all about training and upskilling kitchen specialists. The key thing is to possess a thorough product knowledge and therefore the ability to articulate what’s on offer – when this is in place end customers can fully appreciate the Masterclass products and storage solutions available.

“We are super excited and very much looking forward to the next 12 months.”

See their website

The Art of Virtual Networking

Designscape, from the creative minds behind Decorex, designjunction, kbb Birmingham and Sleep & Eat, set out with a mission to bring together those at the forefront of the design industry at a time when physical networking and deal-making is unfeasible.

Across three days last week this event, involving an impressive line-up of speakers and over 1700 digital attendees, took place. There were 8 Presentations, 3 Headline Discussions and 9 Symposiums covering the categories of Residential, Retail and Hospitality. We dropped into three sessions and are sharing the links below…

To access the on-demand sessions you need to be registered here: https://designscape.eventnetworking.com/register
Wellness in the Home
The New Luxury
The Sustainable Future

The magazine is looking for 100 retailers to join them for a unique collaboration that will shape and influence debate across the industry.

Without doubt, the coronavirus has changed our personal and business lives almost beyond recognition and we will likely feel the effects of the impact for years to come.

While there’s not much clarity on the situation – as it continues to change on a daily basis – one thing that is abundantly clear is that there has never been a more important time for solidarity and community spirit within the KBB industry. With that in mind, kbbreview is launching an exciting initiative in its September issue – The kbbreview100 – to help build a stronger independent KBB retail community.

They are looking for 100 passionate and enthusiastic KBB retailers who can spare some time each month to actively get involved with kbbreview on a variety of levels. If you’re familiar with the magazine, you’ll know that they already aim to include as much comment and opinion from as many retailers – and other industry experts – as possible each month. This is a natural extension of that and great opportunity to have your voice heard.

The kbbreview100 is not a ranking system, it is simply a list of retailers – from all over the UK and from all disciplines – we know are keen to contribute to features and stories.

If you are interested in being a part of the kbbreview 100 click the link below

Get involved...

We’re looking forward to baking the biscuits and putting the kettle on again!

We are hoping to to re-open The Blum Experience Centre ASAP. If you or your client would like to register your interest in being one of our first visitors when we come back, please complete the form here.

We can then keep you updated with current progress and advise you when the diary will be released.

For more information about our UK Experience Centre go to our website

The Surface Design Awards recognise and celebrate the best use of innovative surface materials in architecture and design from across the globe. Launched 8 years ago, these prestigious Awards keep growing year-on-year and are often seen as a reference for the architecture and design industry. The closing date is 25 September 2020.

Click on the link arrow for the entry form 

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are primarily for those looking to recieve recognition for their marketing and communications success – although any activity that can demonstrate that it has made a measurable impact may be eligible. From July to November 2020 you can book your consultation call to discuss a draft entry with a member of the DBA team. For further details contact awards@dba.org.uk. 23 October is earlybird discount deadline and entries have to be completed by 27 November 2020

Click on the link arrow here to find out more 

Blum UK, Mandeville Drive,
Kingston, Milton Keynes, MK10 0AW

Tel +44 1908 285700
www.blum.com