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As a Local business owner, we (The Dorset Echo) asked Steve Cobb from New Image Tiles, Kitchens and Bathrooms on the Granby in Weymouth, what his opinion was with our exit from the Europe Union.
“Being one of the largest independent retail showrooms in Dorset, because we purchase the majority of our products from European countries, we get a really good insight in how Brexit is affecting the UK market. We have seen the Euro fluctuate on a regular basis over the past couple of years, and it has been just as low in the past as it currently is, and I feel the media sometimes doesn’t help, by spreading doom and gloom through the nation, when the reality is nothing has changed.
We purchase all our tiles direct from factories in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, and all of our component parts for our kitchen manufacturing, is purchased direct from the top manufacturers in Germany, and having had many a conversation with Business owners, Reps and Agents that work for all these European suppliers, the overall opinion is that very little will change, the reason for this is that we are a customer, and Europe needs our custom, especially having had a very difficult time during the recession, where in some cases up to 50% of factories had to close.”
“I feel that there are definitely some suppliers that are using Brexit as an opportunity and excuse to increase prices, and to be fair, there are normally price increases year on year anyway. Some of our suppliers have not mentioned any increases, others have had a small increase, but some like Neff Kitchen Appliances are having to increase their prices by 8-10% due to raw material suppliers increase. Neff will have their increase on 15th November, so I am encouraging anyone looking at appliances to place their orders quickly and beat the increase. If you are having a new kitchen and all new appliances, you could save up to £500 by getting your order in now.”
Despite many of the price increases that we are seeing in the country, Steve has managed to keep most of his prices the same, some will have to go up, but some have come down. We asked Steve how he has managed to do this, and Steve replied
“I have always been very passionate about trying to give our customers the very best service and good quality products at great value for money, and to achieve this we have had to work harder and smarter, having spent many months, sourcing better prices for our materials and negotiating with suppliers, much the same as Tesco have with Unilever, to maintain the best we possibly can for our customers. In fact with some of our kitchens we have managed to reduce the prices by around 15%, which if you previously paid £10,000, today you could get it for £8,500 which is a massive saving, when you think other suppliers with their increases, you would probably be paying £11,000.”
“I am very excited about the future, as we continue to expand our manufacturing plant, investing in more Italian CNC machinery, and having recently released our own Germanic True Handless range of Kitchen Furniture, and our own bespoke Bathroom furniture range, the next step will be Bedroom furniture and sliding robes. This growth will only benefit the local economy, with the prospect of more jobs available as we grow.”
“I believe we have a very bright future with Europe by being an independent again following Brexit.”
Please note: This post was originally written as an article for the Dorset Echo.