Sirius predicts huge drive towards home improvement in 2023, as it helps retailers assess key market changes

Sirius Buying Group has said it stands ready to support independent retailers with new sector insights and its inside knowledge on the latest kitchen living trends in 2023-2024.

Steve Jones, the Group’s Managing Director, said the UK high street had changed “beyond recognition” in the past two decades and that a “clear-eyed assessment of the market” is the best way to help his members optimise their businesses and continue to lean into change.

“As independent retailers prepare for the home improvement season, we are making sure our members have the latest creative and digital solutions available to them to enhance everything from stock management to customer service, as technology continues to develop at pace,” he said.

With so much going on around us right now, consumers are likely to be inclined to focus on what they can control – their home environment. So retailers can anticipate an even greater determination to spend on improving and remodelling key rooms, such as the kitchen and utility room.

Based on the latest market research, Sirius predicts that the wellness trend is set to continue and more people will explore options around bespoke laundry and utility areas as well as hybrid kitchen living spaces which can also include home office elements.

Enhancing and personalising the kitchen living space is coming to the fore, the buying group reported, as smart home living has become increasingly mainstream. Retailers can capitalise on the ubiquity of the smartphone as plenty of consumers have yet to discover the benefits of combining their appliances with smartphone apps, so demonstrating this in the showroom is a sure-fire way to educate and impress customers.

Mark Veysey, Head of Operations at Sirius Buying Group, added that with the amount of product information available online, some customers merely want to see a product in the flesh before making a purchase, while others will be keen to establish exactly how noisy an appliance may be or what sort of payment plans are available.

“We want to make sure that our members have the tools necessary to capture that customer online in the first instance and/or convert the sale instore when they enter the store,” said Mr Veysey.

“It makes sense to keep an open mind and ‘assume nothing’ in all interactions with your customers as they have the power to refer you and rating your business online. The relationship never ends with the sale as there are many touchpoints to cover including extended guarantees, aftercare and servicing.”

Recommendations and word-of-mouth will remain key to driving sales in 2023, Sirius stated, and social media also has a significant part to play. Retailers need to make sure they are easy to find online with a business page so they can be tagged in by happy customers.

Mr Jones concluded: “Relationships will be the bedrock of specialist retail going forwards. We strongly believe in sharing and supporting each other through our enviable connections in the community we have established over the past 21 years. And as a bridge between global leading brands, distributors and retailers we like to offer a measured, long-term approach so that you can achieve your business goals in a way which suits you and your team.”