The year 2020, will be remembered as the year of global pandemic and lockdowns but for bathroom specialists, Aqualla, it represents a year of extraordinary opportunity and growth; both in product sales and company direction.
A surging home market resulted in record sales while the takeover in July of iconic bathroom brand, Adamsez has provided Aqualla the chance to drive an historic name into fresh, new markets.
The acquisition completed following six months of negotiations and research. Steven Allaway, Managing Director says, “It was a proud day for the entire team, with an acknowledgement of responsibility attached to steering such a historic brand for the foreseeable future.”
While there has been an amalgamation within the structure of the company, both brands will continue to be separate. As Steven explains, “With 140 years of heritage in Adamsez, and Aqualla being relatively newly established as a young, fresh, dynamic brand with great success; keeping the brands separate is important for us.”
The amalgamation process has been swift with an extremely successful brand relaunch. “We have invested substantially in Adamsez. Internally, we have new offices, warehousing solutions and systems. A new brochure, website and a host of new products are part of the brand relaunch, to which the response from the market – even at this early stage – has been fantastic. People who have been in Adamsez 25+ years would say more has happened in the last six months, than the last 10 years.”
Among the long-serving Adamsez staff are Sue Downs (25 years) who moves across to join the accounts team at Aqualla; Graham Hill (25 years) whose attention to detail ensures the highest standard of production quality and Jackie Henderson (15 years), Sales Administrator and In-house Bath Colour Specialist at Adamsez. During the same period, Aqualla reported record sales months. “This has been fuelled from exhibiting at KBB, one of Europe’s largest bathroom exhibitions held in Birmingham every two years, our highly experienced five-strong GB sales team along with our home market being busier than anytime during my last 20 years in the bathroom industry.”
New bath range
Adamsez are a brand category specialist, who are very strong at the top end of the market with unique designs made from their own moulds offering ranges of stone and acrylic freestanding baths. They also offer a large collection of contemporary, inset and whirlpool baths that are manufactured in-house.
Steven explains the plan for the Adamsez brand. “The rise in demand of midmarket contemporary freestanding baths left Adamsez with a gap in their product offering. We have filled that gap by adding 10 new designs, offering different shapes and sizes covering everything anyone could want from luxury bathing.”
Included in this new range are a few unique USP’s: colour-matching wastes and overflows (with Kyloe by Aqualla brassware); a trap which makes the fitting process straightforward and a white waste and overflow as standard – this is an aesthetic improvement, particularly with the rise in new finishes of fittings. Most of the new range can be colour-matched to suit any consumer requirements, not just RAL but any colour, allowing for personalisation and something truly unique.
The road ahead
“The team of people we have across our business has grown exponentially in 2020, allowing us to continue offering the service we’ve built our brand on,” says Steven. “Although 2020 has been a tough year with extreme swings in trading, we’re planning ahead for 2021 by bolstering our stock and systems for continued growth.” The New Year will see further developments for Aqualla and Adamsez, adds Steven, “We have ambitious plans for both brands. In the short term we want to re-establish the Adamsez brand in both Northern and Southern Ireland. There are some great products in the existing range that we would encourage the market to rediscover, combined with all the exciting new ranges supported by a full suite of new marketing material.”
And so, both Aqualla and Adamsez finish a year unlike any other on a high note, stronger together. Now that’s a refreshingly positive legacy to take from 2020.
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