As Rotpunkt ramps up production capacity, UK head Matt Phillips tells Amelia Thorpe what makes the brand stand out, and reveals the kitchen trends he's currently seeing in the market.
Ask Matt Phillips, head of UK operations at German kitchen manufacturer, Rotpunkt, for his business’ USP, and his answer is unequivocal. "It’s all about giving the designer and end customer as much choice as possible," he says.
There are over 100 different door front styles, including six different handleless options as well as a wide selection of push-to-open full-height doors, in over 100 different colours, with RAL colour matching on selected doors, plus 24 cabinet colours. Door and cabinet width and height measurements can be adjusted to suit bespoke sizes and remove the need for infill panelling.
"We are a third-generation family business with expertise in making exceptional quality German kitchens," continues Phillips, 43. "Now our production is also carbon neutral and we use greenline BioBoard Gen2 which is made of up to 90% recycled wood. Throw in these elements, and there aren’t many manufacturers who can offer all of that under one umbrella."
Founded in 1930, today the business is still based in Bünde, employs 340 staff and is now run by Heinz-Jürgen Meyer and Andreas Wagner, with Sven Herden as MD. "We will double production capacity at head office," says Phillips. "The plan is to start next year and for it to be running at the end of 2024 or early 2025." The UK team consists of four, headed by Phillips who has worked for Rotpunkt since 2012, and there are about 100 dealers in this country.
Phillips is quick to stress the variety of on-trend options in the portfolio, from exposed metalwork frames and support legs that speak to the industrial trend – to the Scandi-look wood tones with whites and greys. "We’re also seeing people using handles on flat slab doors – to create a style that fits between the ultra-modern sleek handleless look and the traditional inframe painted Shaker," he notes.
New products include a Scandi-look ribbed wood veneer door, Memory RI, and three new colours in its Fenix range, an affordable laminate door range Zerox MA, and a heavily textured Zerox SY in Dark Split Oak and Nature Split Oak, plus new hidden door mechanisms to conceal walk-in pantries, utilities, playrooms, and new laundry room designs. "Laundry rooms are definitely an opportunity for retailers – especially as they are working with the customers [on their kitchens] already," he says.
And how have sales been? "For 2021, we’re running circa 20%-25% up on 2020, and 2020 was just above 2019," says Phillips, noting that Rotpunkt has benefitted from the same recent home improvement boost as the market in general. Does he think it will continue? "It’s hard to calculate because nobody knows what’s around the corner," he says. "But I think it will level out and become a steadier rate of growth."