Business at Dealerships Reported Robust Prior to Pandemic

EVANSTON, IL — Kitchen/bath dealers, remodelers and design firms were reporting business as usual – robust, increasing activity in 2019, with bullish forecasts for 2020 – prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a survey of nearly 300 dealers, remodelers and designers conducted on behalf of Kitchen & Bath Design News by its exclusive research partner, the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), business in 2019 reflected solid, pre-coronavirus market conditions. The poll, which painted a portrait of design firms across America, was conducted in March, weeks prior to a COVID-19 pandemic that has since wreaked havoc on housing, residential remodeling and the kitchen/bath sector.

According to the survey’s findings, 16% of those polled by KBDN designed and sold 50 or more kitchens in 2019, and 41% completed more than 20 kitchens. Although the median average installed price for complete remodeled kitchens was $45,800, most of the kitchens designed and sold by survey respondents carried price tags of $50,000 or more. Nearly 25% sold for $50,000-$74,999, some 12% were priced between $75,000-$99,999, and 9% were $100,000 or more.

Most of those surveyed (62%) reported that they sold 1-19 complete baths in 2019. More than 25% sold between 20-49 complete baths, and 5.6% sold 50 or more. The median price was $22,500.

Other survey findings were as follows:

  • Of the 66% of survey respondents who reported having a showroom, the highest percentage (35%) said their showroom was 1,500-2,999 sq. ft. Some 29% had showrooms of less than 1,500 sq. ft., while about 32 say their showroom was between 3,000-9,999 sq. ft. In contrast, only 4.3% say they maintained showrooms of more than 10,000 sq. ft.
  • The median square footage of showrooms among the dealers and design firms surveyed was 2,396 sq. ft., with 65% of the space devoted to kitchens, 23% devoted to baths and 12% devoted to other products. Showrooms are updated every three years or more by 47% of those surveyed. They are updated every one to three years by 39%; every six months to a year by 12%, and at least every six months by 2%.
  • Most of those surveyed (62%) say they carry 3-9 kitchen products lines, with the median number of lines carried at 5.4. Similarly, nearly 60% of those surveyed carry between 3-9 bath product lines, with the median number of lines carried at 5.1.
  • Commonly used non-digital marketing vehicles include print ads in local newspapers and magazines (38.3%), showroom events (21.6%), postcards/mailings (19.5%), radio ads (18.8%) and home-show booths (17.4%). Nearly 80% maintain websites, and 70.4% say they utilize social network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest as online marketing tools.

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