Nearly half of all homeowners surveyed start their K&B remodeling project by consulting with an industry pro, whether that be a designer (24 percent) or a showroom/store (23 percent).
By Elisa Fernández-Arias
Independent showrooms are integral to the kitchen and bath industry’s new builds and remodels, according to NKBA’s recently-released Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report. The pivotal role of showrooms applies to both DIY and designer-involved projects, indicating their importance to homeowners and designers.
The first-ever Showroom report details extensive topics, including past and expected future sales, consumers’ reasons for visiting showrooms as well as how likely they are to purchase products. Below are highlights of the report, which can be downloaded here.
Homeowners’ Use of Showrooms in K&B Remodeling
Homeowners are the customer segment most likely to frequent showrooms — and they generate three times more revenue than industry pros such as contractors, builders and designers. This shows the important relationship between homeowners and showrooms, but what does this really mean?
When seeking out direction in remodeling, homeowners look to professionals — which includes going to showrooms or stores. Seven in 10 homeowners start their K&B remodeling project by consulting with a designer (24 percent), builder/contractor (24 percent) or a showroom/store (23 percent). And according to panelists featured in NKBA’s webinar that debuted the report, designers will demonstrate to their clients — who may have already compiled a list of products they researched online — the importance of going to a showroom and speaking with a showroom expert.
To watch the NKBALive Research Reveal on the Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report, go here to view the sessions on demand.
Additionally, more than one-third of homeowners visited an independent K&B showroom for ideas and design inspiration. Homeowners look to showrooms for product knowledge and to see products in person.
How do they choose which showrooms to visit? Over 40 percent of homeowners were referred by an industry professional, while 25 percent found a showroom via research, and 17 percent were referred by family/friends. And 60 percent of homeowners took a virtual showroom tour before visiting in person.
The Homeowner Shopping Experience
More than 80 percent of homeowners say it’s important to see K&B products in person. Consumers want to touch the products, see the accessories and get a sense of the actual colors, according to panelists featured in the NKBA Research Reveal. Designer Paula Kennedy, CMKBD, said on the webinar that the client is dealing with the two most important things in their life when remodeling — their home and their investment in their home. Added Kennedy: “Those are two very emotional things…they’re going to want to touch that faucet, touch that cabinet door, get that hands-on, personal attention.”
In fact, the report indicated that only six percent of homeowners did not make a final purchase in the showroom they shopped. The main reasons some shopped but did not purchase from a showroom were the variety of services, quicker product availability and broader product selection available from other retailers. Also, two-thirds of industry pros surveyed reported having a conversion rate of 50 percent or more, with the median being 64 percent.
Indeed, two-thirds of homeowners reported they upgraded their purchases in showrooms after learning about product features/functionality and available brands. These upgrades, according to those surveyed, are estimated to have boosted total product purchase by 31 percent for a full-scale kitchen or bath remodeling project.
Showroom Sales Steady
Of independent K&B showrooms participating in the research, 70 percent reported 2022 annual sales of $1 million or more; 22 percent reported sales of $5 million or more. Despite the uncertain economic conditions that continue to impact new construction and remodeling, showroom dealers forecast 2023 sales to be on par with 2022 and 2021 actual sales. And most showroom dealers rate the current health of the kitchen and bath market positively, with an average rating of 66 percent on a 100-point scale.
A More Detailed View
To learn more about these and other insights from NKBA’s Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report, download the full report here.
This article is the second in a series of three articles about the Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report, with the third and final installment scheduled to be released next week.