Functional focus: Giving merchants a competitive edge

At this year’s kbb at the NEC in Birmingham, Häfele UK delivered one of its biggest and most interactive shows to date.

As thousands of guests visited the global manufacturer and distributor’s stand to explore its latest products, services and insights to help fuel their own businesses, one message was key throughout – focus on functionality and you can increase sales while improving results for the end user.

Functional spaces

Functional spaces – which maximise usability, flexibility and value of a space, while balancing it with design and budget, to improve the day-to-day lives of users – was highlighted as a key selling point in Häfele’s recent consumer insights report. As part of its Functional Spaces: Kitchens for Living research, which questioned over 2000 homeowners, more than one in five (21%) said they would shop around to get the best functionality for their budget.

And not only does improving the functionality of spaces, such as the kitchen, offer an opportunity to increase sales and sell complete solutions that work together, but it means the consumer at the end of the project will get better results. More than 85 per cent said their kitchen impacts their emotional and mental health, while two thirds said if their biggest issue was fixed in the kitchen, it would improve their quality of life.

Split across four key zones, Häfele’s standat kbb showcased how its vast range of products can be used in combination to help merchants optimise functional living spaces and provide solutions that will enhance, not hinder, the end user’s day-to-day life.

Super storage

As part of Häfele’s research, 32% of respondents said that when it comes to storage, they simply don’t have enough, 17% said their storage is located too high for them to reach, and a further 17% said they find it difficult to reach things in corner cupboards.

To demonstrate how the market can help customers overcome this challenge, Häfele showcased its latest wirework and storage innovations to make the best use of space in a kitchen. For example, the Matrix Box range from Häfele presents more usable space within the drawer due to its slim design, while the award-winning Free Space flap fitting from Häfele is designed to create more storage room within cabinetry, by eliminating the need for fittings with large cover caps. Additionally, Häfele has integrated a Concepta folding system to a compact kitchen, to demonstrate how the products can be used to close off smaller spaces when not in use.

Love lighting

When it comes to desired features in the home, useful lighting is highly sought after. According to the research from Häfele, 79% of people with lighting built into cabinetry find it invaluable; 32% of homeowners would like to have lighting built into their cabinets, while a further one in seven said they would like a lighting design which can change to create different moods and atmospheres, depending on their activity.

At kbb, Häfele’s Loox Van was on stand, packed out with the new Loox 5 lighting range, to explain how both these things can be achieved. Loox 5 includes upgraded internal components and an improved distribution style compared to its predecessor, making it suitable for a wider variety of applications.

Guests at the show received their own personalised immersive lighting experience in the Loox Van to demonstrate how different lighting products, colours and brightness levels affect our everyday lives, with Häfele’s team of experts on hand to discuss the latest lighting trends and design advice.

Merchants looking to experience the Loox van for themselves can register their interest by visiting and completing the short form. A Häfele representative will then be in touch to schedule a suitable time and date for your very own visit.

Appliances and accessories

The new Smeg appliances, which are exclusively distributed to the trade by Häfele, were also on show at the exhibition. On top of that, the full Metalla hinge range and brand new digital handle visualiser also proved popular. Häfele also offered attendees an interactive play area of products, packed out with a mix of worktops, splashbacks, lighting, handles and cabinet doors which guests can configure into a variety of different styles and trends to create their own kitchen design.

A splash of colour

With almost a third (32.35%) of homeowners agreeing they want to have a more colourful kitchen, new tones from bestselling AluSplash’s latest collection, Elements, were a highlight at the show.

The aluminium-based splashbacks range has recently been expanded with eight new colours plus a marble finish. The Elements collection features a hand-picked selection of earth, air, fire and water inspired shades available in a luxurious, premium matt design.

Functional Spaces: Kitchens for Living research

Finally, as part of its Functional Spaces: Kitchens for Living campaign, findings of Häfele’s research were revealed on stand at KBB as part of two masterclasses delivered in partnership with architect and designer, Laura Jane Clark, who stars on BBC’s Your Home Made Perfect. Hundreds of attendees gathered to hear the findings of the research in more detail, with advice and insights into how to approach kitchen design and specification to achieve the best results possible.

Gareth Bevan, Chief Sales Officer at Häfele UK, said: “It was fantastic to be face-to-face with thousands of our customers again at kbb Birmingham and we were thrilled with the response to our Functional Spaces: Kitchens for Living research. Throughout the supply chain, we need to understand the lives, expectations and needs of the end user. From the innovations that we’re manufacturing and distributing at Häfele, to the products that merchants are stocking and presenting together as complete solutions, we should all have the shared goal of how we can make spaces work as effectively as possible, without compromising on the style. Whether that’s making kitchens perform better, creating home offices that can hide away at the end of the day, or carving out clever storage in forgotten corners such as under the stairs, we can all use our expertise, knowledge and creativity to design homes that ultimately improve and enhance people’s lives.”

For more information on Häfele, visit, 

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June 2024