Cabinet Maker caught up with Rauch Furniture UK for an update on the popular DIALOG brand and a sneak preview of the company’s plans for the January Furniture Show.
With consumers increasingly striving towards individuality for their home furnishings, both in terms of the products themselves and the way in which they purchase them, it stands to reason that those companies offering a wider range to choose from and the option of a bespoke solution, have a very real weapon in their sales arsenal.
Looking at the UK in particular, consumers are looking for options to personalise their homes in a slightly different way. We have all read the reports showing that living spaces are getting smaller, but people’s desire for possessions has not abated, leaving the question of storage. This is something that has been given careful consideration by German manufacturer Rauch Furniture in its product development, and the company has been experiencing a growth in popularity for its DIALOG range for that very reason.
Essentially the products are built around standard 45, 50, 90 and 100cm bases which, within a mix of product, can produce solutions for most consumers’ requirements. The company specialises in 223 and 236cm high wardrobes and all wardrobes are deep enough to store large items on hangers or shelves. The scope of the product size maximises the storage possibilities, especially when combined with extra shelves, rails or drawers which are a common purchase.The DIALOG factory offers products with the benefit of pre-assembled bases - mostly pre-assembled chests of drawers and fast fit fixings based around a platform of higher quality components. Whilst there are thousands of options within many product styles, the competitiveness is achieved by producing products around a standard platform.
In fact, it is difficult to exactly quantify the number of solutions available in the range due to its ability for bespoke product. “Rauch has many ranges,” explained Carina Kunkel, area sales manager UK, “but with DIALOG, we have ideal opportunities to develop ‘exclusive’ products within our standard platform. The number of products we offer is easily outweighed by how many we are able to offer.”
This number includes alternative storage solutions, which may come as something of a surprise. “Often consumers assume that we offer bedroom solutions (which we do),” reveals Carina “but without looking further at the depth of the ranges. For example, we offer a full storage system, which is only 45 cm deep. For hanging, this would be too narrow, but for shelving or upright storage requirements such as shoe storage etc, it offers a perfect solution whilst also taking up less floor space. In our typical wardrobes, the height and depth makes essential use of space.”
The number of products we offer is easily outweighed by how many we are able to offer
The DIALOG range’s popularity can also be attributed to a number of other sell-able benefits for the retailer to pass on, including ease of installation thanks to the ‘fast fix’, pre-installed fittings and pre-assembled bases. As long as the user can follow generic and logical instructions or systems, the wardrobes can be easily erected, and as they are built in the position that they will stand, there is no need for the difficult manoeuvring of large items that pre-assembled wardrobes often bring.
But is there anything else the retailer must take into consideration if thinking about adopting the DIALOG range into their product offering such as specialist equipment to help facilitate accurate planning? “DIALOG does have some specialist software solutions,” explained Carina, “however, until quite recently they were rarely used in the UK market. The expectation of the consumer for ‘non fitted’ furniture has not demanded it. Online sales are ‘calling’ for solutions and we are investigating the requests.”
In addition to the benefits mentioned, DIALOG products can also be moved very easily, so retailers can reassure their customers that, should they move home, their furniture can be dismantled and re-fitted elsewhere. This is also advantageous if, say the consumer decides to redecorate, they can easily clear the space and rebuild.
The coming activities of Rauch contain a number of new developments as well as a presence at a certain furniture show, taking place in January. Brian Westman, head of Rauch Furniture’s UK office, explained: “The demand for our ‘up scale’ products is growing. We are better known in the UK for our value PACK’S offer, but now retailers and consumers increasingly look to DIALOG to offer better quality furniture solutions at a commercial price point.”
“We are launching some new beautiful, stylish, quality bedroom solutions and presenting them on our largest ever exhibition stand at the January Furniture Show in Birmingham. Visitors should be advised that as I have indicated, this presentation only touches the surface of what we do.”