The biennial KBB event held at the NEC is nearly upon us. For those of us specialising in this exciting sector, it's our opportunity to assess the new developments in kitchens, bedrooms and and bathrooms as well as meet existing friends and make new ones.
We've been devoted to this sector since inception and have worked on a range of brilliant projects with market leading brands such as Bristan, Franke, Vado, Heritage and Salamander Pumps during this time. We are regular attendees at sector events and the KBB one is always marked in our calendars. As well as using it to visualise market and product trends, we have been doing our bit over the past few years to track the sea change in KBB purchasing.
Eureka! has been tracking consumer confidence in the KBB sector, looking at propensity to purchase items for the home (at the expense of using a tradesperson to make the purchase). It is quite incredible how this dynamic has changed over a relatively short timescale, and it has significant implications for the brands operating in this sector who have perhaps continued to focus energies on the trade audience, at the expense of the homeowner.
Our exclusive data below shows the changing patterns in purchasing intent, with some product types seeing a 300% increase over this time period. In 2014, just over half of homeowners stated that they would be confident purchasing these sorts of items. Today, this figure stands at over 80%, with over half of all homeowners stating they would be confident to purchase a bathroom tap (62%), shower (51%) and kitchen sink (52%).
As well as retailers, this trend has some profound implications for professional tradespeople. We already know from considerable work with this audience that providing a 'fit only price' is far more common as increasing numbers of homeowners source their own products. This is perceived as positive and negative by the trade, with some citing the release of time from no longer hand holding the customer, while many believe they can lose out financially and have to deal with inferior customer purchased products.
Richard Mace, Director at Eureka! Research observes “Consumer confidence is rising particularly rapidly amongst younger homeowners and those with more disposable income. Even products like boilers and underfloor heating, previously completely the domain of the trade, are seeing homeowners increasingly confident to pre-purchase. We're looking forward to discussing the implications with brands at KBB 2020."
For more information about our work in the home improvement sector please visit our sector page here.
If you would like to discuss how this framework could better help you understand purchasing decisions in your specific market then please drop us a line.