Thursday, 24 February 2011

Bristan targets top-end retail

 Peridot  floorstanding basin mixer
and Moonhead shower inspired by lamp
Brassware manufacturer Bristan has introduced Rare by Bristan a top-end collection of taps, showers and accessories designed for bathroom specialist showrooms. Priced from £175-£250 for mixer taps and up to £1,100 for showers, Rare by Bristan features seven jewel-themed ranges, with names such as Sapphire and Citrine.  And as the name suggests, the Rare by Bristan collection will be exclusive to 250 bathroom boutiques throughout the UK.

CEO of the Bristan Group, Jeremy Ling commented: “This product will not be going to any other multi-outlet retailers or into the merchants. It’s going to be managed completely separately to the Bristan brand. We have a dedicated sales force as well.”
Having greater sales through trade channels than retail channels, Bristan has now set its sights firmly on the specialist sector. In taps, the company has a 38% share in the trade sector, through merchants and has ambitions to achieve similar sales in the retail sector.
However, the company claims the focus on independent bathroom specialists isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to the decline in the house building sector.
 “We effectively started the process 18 months ago. Our strategy is to move into retail in a much more meaningful way. We’ve got a strong brand and what we’ve done is to go into the marketplace to determine what’s wanted,” said Jon Cox, general manager Bristan retail.
500mm x 500mm Fixed Head shower
Jeremy Ling added: “It’s part of a new direction for Bristan, where we are entering into the consumer space through a retail channel.”
And the company is adamant that although serving DIY giants with the Bristan brand name, it can play in the top-end sector with Rare by Bristan. Jeremy Ling said: “Our research says 71% of plumbers recommend Bristan. So, without being arrogant, we are extremely well regarded and well-recommended by plumbers but consumer brand equity is very small. We’re not trying to take the brand in the consumer’s eyes and move it upmarket. We are playing on the fact that the plumber/installer will recognise Bristan and it will give them confidence, while Rare will set it apart for the consumer.”
More on this story will be published in the April issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News.

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