Leading kitchen worktops brand, Granite Transformations, has extended its network with the opening of four new showrooms. The showrooms are in Stamford, Lincolnshire; Bath; St Ives, Cambridgeshire and at Notcutts Wheatcroft Garden Centre in Edwalton, near Nottingham.
In Bath, entrepreneur Tim Hegarty has added to two existing sites in Bristol, with a boutique-style showroom on the busy London Road leading into the city centre. Nottinghamshire businessman Ian Floyde has expanded to the beautiful town of Stamford with a highly acclaimed period-fronted new showroom as well as the concession at Wheatcroft. The Whitwood family, father Malcolm and sons Oliver and Tom, have expanded their Anglian sales territory with an outlet in St Ives’, to complement their established Norwich store.
Stuart Clarkson, Granite Transformations newly-appointed showroom designer, of Richmond, North Yorkshire. The restrained graphics and muted colours are a good fit with these elegant period properties and the more upmarket image shows a possible way forward for Granite Transformations retail branding in the future, appealing perhaps to a more mature, core customer demographic.
For the shop interiors, Stuart has used Granite Transformations’ tough, hardwearing and flexible agglomerate material for shopfitting elements and design features, as well as for demonstrating the product in kitchen and bathroom sets. Thus, conversation areas, internal walkways and wraparound seating units are clad in granite and quartz finishes to reflect the material’s outstanding design potential. Similarly, authentic Italian glass mosaic tiles, from sister company Trend, are presented in large gilded picture frames, portraying them as artworks.
The Wheatcroft garden centre concession is inside the main building, close to the checkouts, and was designed by Stuart as an inviting area, complete with displays to inspire customers and relaxing ‘chillout’ zones for discussing décor ideas. The site is permanently manned and Ian Floyde reports that it is already generating as much custom as a regular high street showroom, suggesting a more affordable entry level for would-be Granite Transformations franchise recruits.
“This is the biggest garden centre concession in our UK network and we are now putting it forward as a model for start-up franchises and existing franchise owners looking to open additional showroom locations,” says UK franchise chief, Danny Hanlon. “There is no shop lease to sign, lower legal fees and less fit-out or signage costs, leading to a substantially reduced initial investment.
“The continual opening of new showrooms is important to a fast developing consumer brand like Granite Transformations,” he continues. “We conducted a customer mapping exercise recently, which demonstrated the power of high visibility, accessible showrooms. According to our data, some 80% of our customers live within a 20 mile radius of a showroom, with market penetration falling away quite sharply after 30 miles. This indicates that a strong retail presence, whether it’s a high street location or an in-store concession, is a catalyst for driving sales locally. So I’m pleased to see a number of our franchise owners investing in maximising their sales revenue and to report there are other new showrooms in the pipeline.”