Will Evans, Head of Client Training at Consumer Credit Solutions, was a guest speaker at the recent kbbreview Kitchen Conference. Will’s talk, ‘If homeowners can’t buy, then you can’t sell’ illustrated how offering low-rate ‘soft sell’ finance can help kitchen retailers win more sales, increase order values and bring forward purchases. Examples from major retailers in the KBB and other home improvement sectors showed how sales have increased in both value and volume since offering credit to their customers. He outlined some of the findings of a recent survey commissioned by CCS, in which homeowners planning major home improvement projects say an interest-free loan would make them more likely to go ahead with the purchase.

“It was the first time CCS has presented at this conference,” says Will. “It was an interesting experience and a good opportunity for us to address some of the concerns companies might have about providing credit. Borrowing from traditional sources such as banks and building societies is difficult but companies offering finance are reporting increased sales by offering “soft sell” finance. I was able to illustrate how companies such as Avanti, Kutchenhaus and Kitchen Design Centre have dramatically increased sales by providing finance to customers. It’s not just new sales either – planned purchases can be brought forward and, as customers realize they can afford exactly what they want, order values are higher too.”
“There were some thought-provoking speeches,” continues Will, “particularly from Gary Favell, CEO of Bathstore, speaking about his time at MFI and Magnet. He was very forthright about past mistakes and lessons to be learned by the KBB industry today.”