Bathstore venture into German Kitchens

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According to recent KBB news sources Bathstore chief executive Gary Favell has launched a kitchen and bedroom side to the business, initially using stores in Farnborough and the Lakeside Shopping Centre to rollout the plans.

Both sites were formerly used by failed retail chain Betta Living and Bathstore had a concession agreement with the company until November 2016 when it went into administration.

The new showrooms will feature a ‘Haus Store’ style fascia under the strapline, ‘Quality kitchens and bedrooms from Germany.’ The company will also offer a full installation and after-care service and as stated on their dedicated website in respect of customer peace of mind, Haus Store’s home design and installation services are independently endorsed by Which? Trusted Traders and their installation team is also accredited by the BiKBBI.

It is no secret that installation is the achilles heel of the kitchen industry and its no surprise to learn that Bathstore has chosen a German made brand of kitchens as the real German kitchens (not the flatpack ones in DIY stores) are usually shipped ready assembled and with meticulous measurements and accuracy resulting in hassle free and improvisation free installations when compared to non-German kitchens.

Aimed at the mid to upmarket kitchen and bedroom sector Favell has so far declined to reveal which furniture supplier the company was using, but said it was “a mainstream high-end German manufacturer” but “not Nobilia”, although Favell did reference Nobilia retailer Kutchenhaus as another mid market player.

The German kitchen market is well established and rather than merge all the products together Bathstore has opted to launch a dedicated website (www.haus.store) to market the new kitchens.

Favell recently stated, “We’ve always had an eye on kitchens but we were happily going along partnering with Betta Living until they decided to drop the bombshell. We’d already been approached by various kitchen people because of our background. Our decision was speeded up by the unfortunate circumstance of Betta Living going under.”

The move marks a return to the kitchen sector for Favell, who spent 16 years with Magnet before becoming CEO of troubled retail chain MFI, which collapsed back in 2008. He was recruited to run Bathstore by then parent company Endless LLP in June 2012.

“Let’s see how the trial works, then it’s all about getting the right locations,” he said. “It’s really early days but there are plenty of opportunities in that mid to upper market. The reason we’re doing the trial is so we don’t set targets we can’t achieve or are too easy. We only launched on April 14 but the early signs from customer feedback are very strong.”

Favell said the new kitchen ranges will “span different price points” but are “on a par with Kutchenhaus. It comes in at the affordable level if required but it can also take the quality and price level up to higher bands than you would get in some of the mid market players,” he said.

“The whole point is we’re leveraging the infrastructure we have in the organisation for fitting. We have three or four years now of developing that. Even though it’s different products we can start to manage kitchen fits. The management of the process is very similar. It’s being able to manage the project that’s key.

Kitchens-Kitchens will post again in the near future on Haus Store and its offering as more details emerge.