Wren Kitchens has been an industry leader in kitchen manufacturing for both the UK and US markets for over 35 years, and they have now become the UK’s fastest growing designer, manufacturer and retailer of fully assembled kitchen cabinets.
Wren Kitchens now have some 72 showrooms, up from 27 showrooms across the UK back in 2012 and they have certainly delivered on their have plans to continue their showroom expansion programme with more planned over the next few years.
In 2016, the Wren reported a then record turnover growth as sales surged past £338 million on to a reported £406 million in 2017 and some 4000 employees.
New Kid on the Block
The Wren team first traded for 10 years in the US and in doing so, became one of the top kitchen manufacturers in the US.
That US business was later sold and the team headed by Armando Sanchez moved back to the UK, where they built a £250 million internet retailing business, namely Ebuyer.com.
Ebuyer.com headquartered in Howden, East Yorkshire, employs over 300 people and they service some 3 million registered customers making the business one of the largest Internet resellers of brand name computer technology and consumer electronics products. Wren is still part of the West Retail Group alongside online electronics retailer Ebuyer (UK).
It was this customer focus and philosophy of giving consumers and businesses what they want, when they want it that saw the creation of Wren Kitchens in 2009, offering customers fully assembled kitchen units as opposed to the traditional flat pack from the likes of Ikea and B&Q.
State-of-the Art Showrooms
Complementing their state-of-the art showrooms is a truly cutting-edge online service, honed over the last five years through the previous and successful development of the Ebuyer.com business, which itself generates in excess of £200 million of sales each year.
The Wren Difference
What makes Wren different to other modern kitchen manufacturers and retailers is the fact that all their high-quality kitchen units come fully assembled, and at a price that beats the flat-packed offerings from many of their competitors.
With the UK kitchen industry still primarily focused on flatpack for rental properties and assembled on site, handcrafted kitchens for the homeowner, its only really the German Kitchen brands of Hacker and the like that manufacture ready-assembled kitchen units.
Wren Kitchens believe that to get the most from their innovative and high-quality designs, they should be assembled using their own trained craftspeople but one key consideration is that of cost. Machined kitchens, assembled as part of a strict quality controlled assembly line in a factory are far less likely to suffer installation damage and as such, there are considerable cost savings to be had from buying this type of kitchen.
Wren use the best-quality materials, environmentally sourced in the UK, with carcase ends, shelves and rails constructed from melamine-faced chipboard and back panels from medium density fibreboard. These are glued together with a unique Bond-X system, ensuring the finished product retains its high quality for years to come.
It should be noted that whilst Wren use 18mm MFC which is Medium Density, a small number of manufacturers use 18mm HDF which is High Density and essentially consists of 3 pieces of 16mm MDF compressed into one board which means each cabinet is three times as dense, therefore 3 times more rigid. One such supplier is NW based Ultimate Kitchens (www.ultimate-kitchens.co).
Pride in their work
Wren’s stated commitment to quality permeates through every stage of the construction process, from the planning through to the assembly and it has to be noted, with strict quality control checks. Only when Wren are completely satisfied that the finished product meets their exacting and meticulous standards do they carefully pack their kitchen units and ready them for delivery to the customer.
So what does Ready Assembled mean for customers?
Rather than deliver cheap materials in a stack of cardboard boxes – which then requires the customer to take hours identifying the various pieces and checking they are all there, Wren deliver their customers a fully constructed kitchen cabinet as standard.
The Wren Standard
The Wren Standard extends to additional touches such as: Soft-closing drawers, using an effortless ultra-smooth system found on many expensive German cabinets. Extra-deep drawers, which at 500mm in depth gives some 10% more room than you would normally get with most other UK manufacturers. Also as standard are extra-deep wall cabinets to ensure that all bulky items such as large dinner plates will fit comfortably, concealed wall hanging brackets that are easy to adjust, and much more aesthetically pleasing than cheaper models.
Furthermore, a convenient service gap to the rear of all the cabinets, means that customers can easily work around existing pipework and hide unsightly wiring from appliances, thereby aiding installation and reducing fitting costs.
That is what makes Wren Kitchens different. Find a store near you.
Wrens stores are located in (amongst other places) Aberdeen, Aintree for Kitchens in Liverpool, Basildon, Beckton, Bolton, Bristol, Cardiff, Chester which also serves Kitchens in Warrington and Kitchens in Manchester, Darlington, Doncaster, Dundee, Hamilton, Hayes, Howden East Yorkshire. Huddersfield, Hull East Yorkshire, Lincoln, Norwich, Poole Dorset, Reading, Rotherham, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Southampton, Stevenage, and Stirlingshire.
Aside from the largely positive press cited above, Wren has also come into some criticism in recent years.
In 2015, Wren Kitchens was investigated by the BBC Watchdog programme concerning allegation it was providing customers with poor customer service. The BBC investigation found that the company had provided partial orders to customers and was extremely slow to rectify issues.
Then in the Spring of 2016, Wren was one of a dozen kitchen brands that was researched by the consumer association Which?. The survey was to calculate customer satisfaction ratings for kitchen companies including Ikea, John Lewis, Magnet, B&Q, Homebase, Wickes and Howdens Joinery in addition to Wren.
Wren came second from last out of the 12 kitchen companies assessed.