The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG), part of European kitchen and bathroom buying group Der Kreis, hosted its seventh Annual Members’ Meeting on 11th October 2021.
The event was co-sponsored by Caple and Novy and took place at the Williams Experience Centre in Grove, Oxfordshire. Members were able to enjoy the venue's conference facilities alongside one of the largest private collections of Formula 1 cars in the world. There was also plenty of space for members and suppliers of the buying group to network and make the most of the offers and promotions available on the day.
The theme for this year’s conference was ‘how new technologies can help the future of the independent retailer’, which was supported by several speakers. First in the line-up was Jane Blakeborough, research director at Trend-Monitor, to outline how the last 18 months has had an impact on consumer spending, and how this will continue.
Guests also heard from event sponsors Danny Lay, MD of Caple, and Owain Harrison, country manager of Novy, for a business update and an insight into the brands’ latest offerings. Additionally, Graeme Wilson from Lead Wolf gave a presentation on generating sales leads online and how his business can help independent kitchen and bathroom specialists.
In the afternoon, a panel discussion took place themed around the smart home, which was chaired by journalist and editor Sean Hannam. This was the first time a panel has taken to the stage at a KBBG Annual Members’ Meeting. Alongside Sean was Danny Lay and Owain Harrison, as well as Mark Siddall, MD of MR Kitchen Design, and Darren Taylor, MD of Searle & Taylor, who were both bringing a retailer’s perspective into the discussion.
Bill Miller, KBBG MD, said: “Despite the challenges the last 18 months has brought, the KBBG has continued to flourish, and our members are enjoying the current boom in home improvements. We wanted our Annual Members’ Meeting not to dwell on COVID, but to look forward with positivity and how we can grow as an industry. The smart home is a huge topic for the future and one that sparked many talking points, particularly during our panel discussion. We thank our event sponsors and the staff at the Williams Experience Centre for such a memorable day and we look forward to next year’s conference.”