Leading global kitchen and bathroom supplier GROHE has reported unprecedented demand for hygienic touchless taps in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. At a time when the pandemic has pushed the everyday necessity of hand washing into the spotlight, it would seem finding solutions to optimise hygiene in both the workplace and at home is spurring the demand.
Leading figures within the design community are also considering how hygiene will come to the fore in the interior spaces of the future. Coen van Oostrom, Founder and CEO of EDGE, a company that specialises in developing a new generation of buildings that focus on the health of people and the planet, predicts that new health measures will play a key role in a new generation of workplaces. ‘Together with sustainability, health will define the way we build and design homes, offices and places where people meet. Touchless products and speech-driven technology will play a key role in making healthy and safe offices. Consumers will want to minimise contact to surfaces as much as possible.’
In the UK market, the transition to a more hygiene-focused workplace and business environment has already been in motion since the beginning of the year. Elina Enqvist-Twomey, Category Manager at GROHE UK says: ‘Feedback from the commercial market in the last three months tells us that hygiene is top of the agenda for specification, with a large proportion of projects specifying more hygiene-focused products such as infra-red taps, infra-red flush plates, and shower toilets. In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in customers purchasing infra-red taps as a result. Likewise, in the kitchen, several of our tap designs which use advanced technologies to minimise physical interaction with the handle of the tap itself such as our SmartControl kitchen mixer and Zedra Touch range have also seen an increased interest. When the industry returns to a sense of normality, we expect the increasing scrutiny of hygiene in the workplace and public buildings to continue. This pandemic has encouraged all of us in some way to rethink our hygiene practises and consider new lengths to protecting ourselves and those around us.’
And it is not just the commercial market that will evolve in the wake of coronavirus. GROHE’s Head of E- Commerce at GROHE UK, Phil Dixon, explains how consumer purchasing behaviour has changed over recent months: ‘From the start of 2020, we have seen extraordinary demand for our touchless sensor products, achieving significant YoY growth. In these challenging times, people are looking for new technologies to bring improved hygiene and convenience into daily life. Products like our GROHE BAU Cosmo E tap are at the forefront of this new surge of growth we have seen as they have been designed with easy installation in mind, so it is the perfect project that anyone with some basic DIY knowledge can take on at home. The battery- powered model completely eliminates the hassle and any uncertainty around the set up of electronics and it has a long-lasting 7 year battery life too. We are certain that this technology combined with an accessible price point are key factors in our recent growth.
‘Now with the emergence of the coronavirus crisis, we are preparing to see unprecedented demand from homes and businesses alike in the coming months as we all prepare for post-lockdown life. Alongside our touchless taps, we are also expecting to see a spike in the shower toilet sector. Sales of our award-winning Sensia Arena have been gradually increasing for a while now, but we can see its hygiene-optimising features such as automatic flushing, lid opening and anti-bacterial coating are likely to generate far greater demand in the near future. These products, along with many others we offer which promote hygiene and wellbeing, are designed to improve the daily lives of our customers and seek to instil changes in our habits for the better.’