MERLYN marketing manager, Eileen Slattery spoke to KBB Review earlier this year at KBB 2022.
Q: How have you kept up with the demand of the last two years and how are you facing this challenge?
Q: How do you think the relationship between supplier and retailer is changing?
A: In what has been an incredibly difficult two years, the relationship between supplier and retailer has been key. Although showrooms have been closed for long spells during the pandemic, they have battled to do what they can for consumers, from private appointments to virtual tours. Throughout all the challenges, the dedication, commitment, and hard work of retailers has been truly commendable.
Retailers are now demanding more support from suppliers to improve sales and protect margins– and rightly so. The bond between supplier and retailer is integral to the ongoing success of suppliers within the bathroom market. Nothing beats seeing a bathroom feature up close – you can feel the quality at the touch of your hand. Retailers have extensive expertise in all things bathroom, and they help make the consumers’ decision an easy one.
At Merlyn, we are constantly working to improve our offering to our retailers, to add value, make their day-to-day business easier and to future proof their business as much as possible.
Q: If you were opening a retail showroom in this market, what would your strategy be?
A: Showrooms must invest in their talent in order to compete. To inspire consumers, retailers must have their finger on the pulse of bathroom design, with highly trained and personable bathroom designers to impress consumers while delivering functional and innovative concepts.
High quality manufacturers are a must to guarantee success. Choose suppliers that you can depend on with a built-to-last promise, and a genuine commitment to service.
It comes as no surprise that touchless features have been noted as highly important in the bathroom space. The bathroom is a breeding ground for germs and society’s boosted consciousness around this through the pandemic has led to a demand for touchless products.
Sustainability has also become a key factor in our industry. Whether sustainability is a conscious reason that our retailers choose us, or they are being fuelled by consumer interest in using sustainable suppliers, this will form a key part of supplier selection and promotion going forward. As millennials begin to climb the property ladder sustainability and saving the planet will become an even more important factor when considering materials and processes whilst buying bathrooms.
Merlyn is currently working with the Carbon Trust in the UK on their route to net zero. Carbon Trust are expert consultants on the route to Net Zero supporting and collaborating with organisations to drive net zero objectives. Net Zero encompasses the entire value chain of an organisation, which means a baseline footprint must be established for both operational and value chain emissions.