The founder of Cubico UK Ltd, the bathroom product wholesaler, has released a statement insisting that kbb Birmingham 2020 is still a ‘must-visit,’ following reports that certain bathroom suppliers had withdrawn their place due to Coronavirus concerns.
The statement comes following an announcement from Frontline Bathrooms last week, stating that it was to pull out of the show in order to fulfil a ‘duty of care’ to its colleagues. Its sales and marketing director, Michael Sammon said the firm had been advised that there are likely to be significant numbers travelling from heavily affected areas of the world, and indicated that other companies in the industry planned to take the same precaution.
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In response, Craig Waddington has urged other independent bathroom retailers to ‘dismiss the shadow that’s been cast over the exhibition,’ stating that missing the show is ‘intrinsically bad for business.’
His statement read: I cannot stress enough how vital it is for independent retailers to visit kbb. This is the holy grail of bathroom shows for small bathroom companies, where they can discover the most cutting-edge technology, on-trend products and the best suppliers.
Missing out on such an opportunity is intrinsically bad for business, especially in a market which is very competitive. It’s the first major exhibition since Brexit and it is a time for businesses to consolidate, seek new opportunities and create excitement around our industry.”
There are wholesale factories in China which have stopped operations for two months, so the entire supply chain is being affected, but KBB is actually a solution to the problem. It’s a good opportunity for retailers to meet with the suppliers who do have plenty of stock reserves.
Due to the virus, there will be no Chinese wholesale representations at the show, meaning that there’s not likely to be ‘significant numbers travelling from affected areas of the world’, as prior suggested. It poses the question as to whether Coronavirus could be being used as a scapegoat. I have been made aware that the companies withdrawing their presence actually did so before Coronavirus became a problem, perhaps due to trading difficulties.
This always has, and always will be, the most important show in our industry. Of course, follow the precautions and advice given by the show organisers, but don’t simply not turn up.”