Britain’s savvy shoppers are no longer restricting their online purchases to DVDs, music downloads and holidays – homeowners and landlords are increasingly turning to the web for big ticket items including brand new kitchens according to research from one leading retailer.
In the last quarter, the kitchen retailer NewKitchens.co.uk reports it has recorded over a 50% increase in the number of requests received online for complete kitchens. This is up over 100% on the same period last year when the majority of sales were for its bespoke kitchens and cabinets.
Edward Nugent, director said: “Shopping online is now such an intrinsic part of daily life that consumers are incredibly comfortable with sourcing suppliers, products and services via the web. We think that there has been a major evolution in buying habits in the last six months with shoppers that were once comfortable booking holidays on the net and ordering furniture now shifting up a gear.
“We re-launched our website as a full e-commerce store in January as a direct result of customer demand. We can now produce around 400 complete kitchens per month and thousands of made to measure doors and cabinets. The feedback from clients is overwhelmingly in favour of buying online and with today’s technology, there really is no reason to waste time sitting in a high street store as the same 3D CAD technology can mock up kitchen plans online just as easily. This means all of the same information and planning assistance is available virtually as is physically with none of the overheads of maintaining a high street presence. Of course, this means prices are lower and dealing directly with the manufacturer ensures great value as well as a high quality finished product.”
Many of those now opting to buy a kitchen online do so after switching on to the savings made, NewKitchens reports. Dealing directly with the manufacturer means there is no high street commission added on or mark up to push up the price. It also ensures that kitchens can be made to order which signifies they can be made to budget. For those willing to do the installation themselves or get a local fitter, huge savings can be made compared with an ‘off the peg kitchen’ from a high street store.
Quality is often cited as a factor by those customers who log on to spruce up the heart of the home, with the option to deal directly with the manufacturer offering reassurance that the finished product will live up to its promise. A relationship with the company making the kitchen also means a greater level of choice – NewKitchens.co.uk said it can make cabinets, kitchens and doors to any size and shape, offers a choice of more than 94 available kitchen cabinet colours and finishes and a range of material options. Kitchens using the same cabinets and doors are in the high street including Wigmore Street, so quality is not an issue.
Nugent said: “From the Egger board we use for cabinets right through to the Blum soft close hinges and drawer boxes, our kitchens are built on strong foundations, and accentuated with luxury touches that make all the difference when investing in your home. Each comes with a 20-year manufacturer guarantee and is backed with our 30-years of kitchen experience. So much so that we have now also launched a cabinet only option that is very popular with the kitchen trade. It makes the process simple and clear – you get exactly what you order with no fuss.
“We pride ourselves on the quality and durability of our cabinetry, and whether you opt for a modern high gloss kitchen or a more traditional Solid Oak Kitchen suite, you can be confident you are investing in the best. When you buy online you’re dealing directly from the manufacturer which means having the best possible choice of products to pick from and the freedom to create something that is exactly what you want and to the budget you have set.”