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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Arguably, the biggest change to shopping in the 20th century was the emergence of supermarkets, but in the 21st century, the change is indisputable: it’s our addiction to online shopping – and it’s an addiction that’s growing stronger by the month.

According to Office for National Statistics figures released today, in 2008 just 5p of every £1 spent in shops was spent online – but by 2015 this had risen to 13p. Further, nearly half of every £1 spent in shops online in 2015 was spent in online stores that have no permanent physical presence on the high street or out of town shopping park. This, too, is a growing trend – up from 41p of every £1 spent in shops online in 2010 – and worryingly for those who own stores that sell appliances, involves consumers who buy these items online.

Considering that nearly 88% of all shopping in Great Britain in 2015 took place in physical stores, it’s clear that consumers are not quite yet ready to move to an exclusively online shopping experience but if we want to continue to see appliance retailers have a physical presence in our shopping centres then we need to find a way to do it quickly.

It’s easy to shop around for appliances online and come up with the best price, delivery times to suit and the best guarantees – and by golly they do vary! Most of us have become wise to the “Find it cheaper elsewhere and we’ll refund the difference” ploy by some stores that have items especially made (it may just be a product number that’s different) which you simply can’t find anywhere else and thus will not be able to find cheaper.

Other stores will check the Internet to see if another local store is offering at a lower price, what you wish to buy, and will charge you the same.

Where though, does this leave margins? The other store might employ fewer staff and pay lower rates and have lower overheads than the one you’re in…

This doesn’t bode well for stores that only sell appliances, does it? But what is the answer? Just what do we need to do, to entice people back into the stores, I wonder?

What do you think, that we as an industry can do, to reverse consumers’ buying patterns, or do you think we’re on a hiding to nothing?



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Jan Hobbs



29th July 2016

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