The outgoing managing director of kitchen sink and tap giant Franke UK, Duncan Marr, has warned the kitchen industry not to get carried away with a sudden boom in business as the market recovers.
Mr Marr, who left Franke UK at the end of March after an impressive 38 years with the company, gave the stark warning during an interview with kitchen, bed and bathroom trade group KBB Review following his Special Achievement Award at the magazine’s annual awards ceremony.
Marr had said that there was a section of the kitchen market that would be lead by consumers with a short term spur in desire to buy, and that this would not be representative of the sector in the medium to long term.
“Ask yourself the question – in the last three or four years, how many people who desired, wanted or needed a new kitchen have now decided never to get one? And the answer is none,” he said. “They still want one, they’ve just postponed it. In fact, the kitchen they wanted to replace four years ago will probably be in even worse condition now. There’s a pent up demand of people who would’ve bought, but haven’t. Human nature doesn’t change and sooner or later they’ll all go out and buy – people aren’t going to stop moving house forever.
“The thing to be wary of is a sudden spurt upwards in business, and you have to be careful not to overestimate the benefit of it when it comes because that will be just as abnormal as everything that preceded it. My guess is that the overall level of demand is 10% less than we experienced at the peak in 2007.”
Marr also said during his KBB interview that, in his 38 years with Franke and nearly 45 years in the kitchen industry in total, the economic conditions in the last few years have been “worse than any other”, because the drop came from such a high level.
“Up to 2007 we were at an artificially high peak,” he said. “It was all too easy, and there was too much business everywhere. That’s the difficulty, we should’ve seen it coming because the situation wasn’t normal. The house price appreciation we had and the easy credit just didn’t make sense. It was at such a peak that the drop had be a lot more dramatic.”
That someone which such a long and experienced career in the kitchen industry has effectively said that conditions are going to improve but don’t (as firms in the sector) over-trade or over extend yourself is nothing other than words of encouragement and indeed, sound advice from Mr Marr.
Franke of Switzerland is the world’s foremost kitchen sink manufacturer and renowned for a commitment to quality and an unmistakable flair for design, using the finest materials and state-of-the-art production technology. By adopting a policy of investment in innovation and technology, Franke has established their position as the largest stainless steel sink manufacturer in the world and a leading name in kitchen taps, cooker hoods, ceramic and Fragranite sinks.
Most UK kitchen designers and suppliers rave about the modern kitchen appliances from Franke and our Euro counterparts, the german kitchen firms like Hacker Kitchens, Poggenpohl, Nobilia and the like often feature Franke in their displays.