An overwhelming percentage of homeowners prefer to visit a showroom when making the decision to purchase a new bathroom, according to a survey conducted by plumbers merchant City Plumbing Supplies, part of Travis Perkins plc.
85% of survey respondents agreed that they would prefer to visit a showroom to make an informed decision rather than rely solely on a brochure, whilst 69% of homeowners stated they would research bathroom products independently.
As a result, plumbers are much more likely to recommend the use of a showroom or accompany consumers during the purchase process.
The survey suggests homeowners still view bathroom replacements as an expensive and serious investment, whilst the role of the plumber must focus heavily on ensuring practicality and functionality is prioritised alongside style and design.
John Frost, managing director of City Plumbing Supplies, said: “The role of the installer, and indeed the merchant, has greatly evolved over the last ten years. A considered purchase, backed by extensive research is now the norm but it’s still vital that trade expertise is applied at the design stage. This will ensure the homeowner receives the bathroom they dreamed of, whilst remaining functional for the practicalities of everyday life.
“Fortunately, merchants such as City Plumbing Supplies are rising to the challenge and providing Bathroom Showrooms that help with the selection process and are open to installers and their customers. The homeowner can see the products and feel the quality in person, whilst a team of Showroom Managers can talk them through their requirements to keep practical considerations, as well as aesthetics, front of mind on behalf on of the installer.”
Travis Perkins plc saw its plumbing and heating sales slump again in the first half of this year, but noted signs of recovery in the local bathroom installer market served by CPS.
The builders and plumbers merchant chain has undertaken a resegmentation programme in the past year for its plumbing and heating division, with CPS and Plumbing Trade Supplies (PTS) taking a more targeted approach in the way they serve customers.