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Der Kreis

The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group UK (KBBG) is an organisation set up to support the business of the independent kitchen and bathroom specialists. Part of the renowned DER KREIS, Europe’s leading kitchen and bathroom buying group, the company has over forty years’ experience. Currently operating in nine countries with 3,500 members, the group provides a range of exclusive tailored benefits and services to support and increase the success of each independent kitchen and bathroom specialist in an effort to stay ahead of the competition and to promote the success of individual businesses. 

Who Is Looking Out For The Independent Kitchen Specialist With The Ongoing Demise Of The High Street?

Bill Miller, Managing Director, KBBG, shares his thoughts on the decline of the high street, the strength of independents and the benefits of joining a buying group…

The last year has had a profound effect on all our lives, both personal and professional. Changes in consumer buying habits that were going to be seen over the next five years, have been brought forward, particularly in relation to the huge unstoppable growth of online retailing. So where does this leave the high street? It is claimed that Napoleon once called us a ‘Nation of shopkeepers’ but is this still the case?

With the loss of some of the high street’s stalwart trading names, you would be forgiven for thinking that the high street is dead and long live the internet. However, I simply do not accept this view. At heart, as consumers, we love to shop, and I do not see that changing. What has changed are the reasons for us to shop. We now seek out a shopping experience, rather than an easy way to pick up the staples of everyday life, which can be done online. In truth many of the high street retailers that closed were not giving their customers the right experience. They simply did not change quickly enough, or go far enough, to meet the needs of their customers.

I would argue that there has never been a greater need for a thriving independent retailer sector to fill the gap left behind by the closure of the larger chain stores. It is the independent sector that best understands its local customer base. They offer the experience their customers are looking for, whether it is attending an instore cookery event or working with a designer to create their dream kitchen, the independent kitchen and bathroom retailer can adapt and quickly change in a way that the national store groups simply cannot.

Despite the obvious challenges, I am confident that many independent retailers will not only survive in the new post Covid world, they will thrive. However, even among independent kitchen and bathroom retailers, things are changing. Independent retail, by its very nature, is fiercely independent and this independence needs to be protected, nurtured and developed. The sector needs help to improve margins, and give greater access to products, and where needed, business advice and help.

So, is there a way that an independent, bricks and mortar, kitchen and bathroom business can remain independent, and get the support and help necessary? Yes, through joining a buying group. However, this is not just any group, but a group that respects its members’ independence, and works with them rather than against. Buying groups have been around in the kitchen and bathroom industry, in Europe, for many years and they are now here in the UK.

So, if you want your independent business to grow and flourish, the KBBG is here for you, to work alongside you, and to help you achieve your own goals and ambitions for your business. Join now, it could be one of the best business decisions you will make this year.