Brothers Gareth and Max Davies’ company, Classic Interiors is setting new standards in the highly competitive kitchen business – and has the awards to prove it
The kitchen business is a crowded place. With more homeowners than ever deciding to improve rather than move, leading market research published earlier this year showed the industry is worth a staggering £3billion with sales predicted to rise by more than £50million in 2019 in what is generally accepted as a ‘slow’ year due to UK economic uncertainty. To succeed in a market this competitive a company has to have the right strategy, products and service.
Step forward brothers Gareth and Max Davies. The directors of Classic Interiors have built the company into a real force on the local kitchen scene with showrooms in Redditch, Solihull, Worcester and most recently a sharp, modern flagship opened in Edgbaston, with plans to expand further into the Warwick and Leamington Spa area in future.
Classic was established in 1987 by the brothers’ father as a very small kitchen replacement service called Classic Kitchens based in Lakeside, Redditch. It was mostly about supplying replacement doors and units. Gareth joined the business 17 years ago straight out of university and Max gave up his solicitor’s job to hop on board in 2012.
Together they have really pushed the company on in recent years – and their success can be seen by the number of top industry awards Classic and its 25-strong team have won. The most recent was a double triumph being named Kitchen Retailer of the Year at the prestigious national BKU Awards in London as well as being honoured in the Best Customer Service category. They have also been nominated as Showroom of the Year for their new Edgbaston centre at this month’s elite Designer Kitchen magazine awards. And Kirstie Smith has also been nominated for the KBSA’s Young Designer of the Year
Max said: “I know it’s a bit of a cliché but the kitchen is the heart of a home and that’s true more than ever. It’s the hub. It always has been, but now there is a realisation with people about how much time they really spend in this one room in the home. So, the demand to have a kitchen that reflects your lifestyle and how you want to use the room is greater than ever.”
Classic has two clear parts to the business, both targeted at the quality end of the market. “We sell modern, cutting edge German kitchens because the demand for this product is so big,” explained Max. “And we also concentrate on traditional top quality British-made kitchens.” Locally-made is important and the company has had a close relationship for many years with elite kitchen manufacturers Mereway which has a large factory in Birmingham.
This strategy of choosing the right products for the market and then delivering excellent service has seen Classic come through tough economic times where others have failed. “The kitchen business is a crowded space,” said Max.
“Lots of people set up and are around for a short time but then fall away when the economic climate dips. We’ve been through three recessions now and come through each time. We believe that’s because of what we offer and the service we give.”
The new Birmingham showroom at Harborne Road has proved to be everything Max and Gareth hoped. “The feedback has been incredibly positive,” said Max. “We believed in taking our time to find the exact right place the new showroom – it took us three years to find the site. We will follow the same strategy with our plans for another showroom in Warwickshire, either around Warwick or Leamington Spa. These decisions are vital to get right.”