Showroom Report – NKBA

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Top 10 Takeaways from NKBA’s Showrooms Report

Discover the role of independent showrooms in new builds and remodeling as well as current challenges.
By Elisa Fernández-Arias

NKBA’s first-ever Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report highlights pivotal information about the changing role of showrooms in the K&B industry. The report, released during an NKBALive Research Reveal on Thursday, June 22, is available free to NKBA members here

Below are the top 10 highlights of the report.

  1. Independent showrooms continue to play an important role. Independent showrooms are integral in the kitchen and bath industry’s new build and remodeling projects, including DIY and those directed by a designer.

  2. Homeowners are most likely to frequent independent showrooms.
    This customer segment generates three times more revenue than industry professionals such as designers, contractors and builders. Homeowners are making K&B purchases for DIY projects and some designer-involved projects.

  3. Independent showrooms face several major challenges.
    The first is keeping products current and attracting consumers. The second are factors outside of their control, including supply chain/ product availability, recession, inflation and labor shortages.

  4. Many independent showrooms are evolving. Within the past two years, 65 percent of showrooms carried new brands, 53 percent remodeled their showroom, 50 percent added or improved their technology, and 40 percent added new product categories.

  5. Technology is key to independent showrooms success.They are turning to technology to improve the customer shopping experience and to help make their own operations more efficient. In the past two years alone, about 41 percent of showrooms enhanced their monitors/displays, and 30 percent updated their design software/hardware.

  6. Independent showroom sales have remained steady.
    Of the independent K&B showrooms surveyed, 70 percent reported 2022 annual sales of over $1 million, while 22 percent noted sales of $5 million or more.

  7. Independent showrooms are positive about the future. Despite uncertain economic conditions that continue to impact new construction and remodeling, independent showroom dealers project 2023 sales to be on par with 2022 and 2021.

  8. Homeowners frequently turn to independent showrooms.More than one-third of homeowners visited an independent K&B showroom for ideas and design inspiration. Additionally, seven in 10 homeowners start their K&B remodeling project by consulting with a  showroom/store (23 percent), a designer (24 percent), or a builder/contractor (24 percent).

  9. Homeowners want to see K&B products in person before buying.
    Two-thirds of homeowners also reported that they upgraded their purchase after learning about product features and functionality as well as available brands. These estimated upgrades reportedly added 31 percent to the cost of products purchased for a full-scale kitchen or bath remodel.

  10. Those who shopped at an independent showroom also made their final purchase there. Only 6 percent did not. Additionally, two-thirds of the showroom professionals surveyed reported a conversion rate of 50 percent or more, with the median conversion rate being 64 percent.

To download the full report, click here.

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Modern Industry, Modern Solutions

Independent K&B showrooms are remodeling, adding product categories and implementing technological solutions to attract more customers.
By Elisa Fernández-Arias

When faced with new and existing challenges, independent kitchen and bath showrooms are coming up with creative, effective and successful solutions to stay competitive and win over consumers, according to NKBA’s first-ever independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report.

The top internal challenges cited most were keeping products current and attracting customers. In fact, 67 percent said developing relationships with homeowners is extremely important to their success. And many recognize that they need to continually evolve their strategy to service the needs of their customers and stand out among their competition.

“[C]onsumers who are remodeling their kitchens or baths place a very high value on seeing and touching products before they purchase them.”

The study also showed that, contrary to popular belief, online shopping doesn’t rank high as a challenge. And, according to most showrooms interviewed, it’s not eroding showroom sales because consumers continue to place a very high value on seeing and touching products before purchase. 

Changes in Showrooms

In the past two years, 65 percent of showrooms interviewed for the study have introduced new or additional brands, while 53 percent have significantly remodeled their showroom and 40 percent have added product categories. Within the next two years, four in ten showrooms will be carrying new brands or remodeling their space.

Showrooms are also turning to technology to improve the shopping experience as well as their own operating efficiencies. It is particularly noteworthy that 50 percent of those interviewed reported adding new technology to their showrooms in the past two years, while 35 percent plan to add it within the next two years.

“About half of the showrooms interviewed said they added new technology to their locations in the last two years to improve customers’ shopping experience.”

Enhanced monitors and displays were the most frequently mentioned enhancement in terms of customer-facing technology, while updated design software and hardware were the most popular for operational technology. A respectable number of both showroom dealers and designers expect virtual technology to be increasingly used in kitchen and bath design over the next few years.

Insights From the Research Webinar Panel

Panelists from NKBA’s webinar that introduced the results of the research report offered helpful insights into staying competitive in today’s ever-changing retail landscape. 

Using a website in tandem with in-person sales can be a smart move. Purchasing habits, as well as how designers work with their clients, have changed due to the pandemic. It’s important to think about how to attract customers to the website, connect them with designers and eventually get them to physically visit the showroom. The panelists also touched on strategies for client meetings, such as combining showroom visits with Zoom designer meetings, and offering both in-person and online or video conferencing.

Providing high-quality customer service and creating relationships in showrooms is essential for success. Designer Paula Kennedy, CMKBD, a webinar panelist, emphasized the importance of personal relationships in the industry. She told showroom owners that designers are loyal to specific sales people and will follow them if they move from one company to another. Also important: Having meeting rooms in the showroom with screens where designers can meet with their clients to discuss ideas. 

Technology is a big part of a showroom’s success today… and in the future. The webinar panel emphasized the need for lighting solutions in showrooms, where clients can see products in a variety of settings and lighting types.  In addition, 3D rendering is an effective way to show customers what new products could look like in their homes. Finally, they stressed that showrooms should prioritize new technology as part of their product mix –  notably smart toilets and motion sensor faucets –  since learning about new trends is part of a successful and engaging showroom experience.

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about these and other insights from the Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms study, download the full report here. To watch the NKBALive Research Reveal on the Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report, go here to view the session on demand.

This article is the last in a series of three articles about the Independent Kitchen & Bath Showrooms report. To view the other articles, visit NKBA.org/insights.

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Showrooms Play a Key Role in K&B Projects

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.”

“The two things a client is dealing with when renovating are two of the most important things in their life — their home and their investment in their home…  they’re going to want to touch that faucet, touch that cabinet door, get that hands-on, personal attention.” —Designer Paula Kennedy, CMKBD, during NKBALive Research Reveal webinar.

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.