What are they up to now? 27/12/2019

It’s that time of year again. Everybody’s having the biggest ever kitchens sale – again.

Actually, B&Q isn’t. A few years ago, B&Q stopped playing the see-saw game, doubling prices in order to have a half-price Sale. It hurt them in the short term, and – given the changes they’ve made since then – perhaps in the long term, too, but it was the right thing to do. They have launched their new GoodHome Caraway carcase this year – an 18mm flat-pack -, and that seems to be the core of their EDLP (Every Day Low Price) offer this Winter, along with up to five years’ interest-free credit.

Homebase has been through some shinola in the last few years, too, and feels like it’s still re-building its kitchens offering. In terms of promotion, it’s copying Wre – I mean, by coincid – well, anyway, it’s using the same reasoning as other retailers to support a seemingly-permanent half-price claim, plus another bit, plus another bit. Several kinds of finance are on offer, including up to five years’ IFC, depending on how much you spend.

Magnet’s Winter Sale is as unique as everybody else’s: half price when you buy five units or more, plus a bit, plus a bit, and a raffle. Finance offers include BNPL and up to five years’ IFC.

Wickes are taking a different approach. No, not really. Well, perhaps a little. They’re sticking with the traditional approach to half-pricing – they put the price up first -, rather than the Wren-led “five-units-or-more”; and they’re promoting an offer end (what will happen after the 6th?), and a “price promise” more prominently than the others so far. Interestingly, the offer is on their Showroom kitchens (which are not stocked, but to order), and one of the price-matching requirements is that the competitor’s product be in stock. Seems fair.

This may shock: at Wren, when you buy five or more kitchen units, they’re half price! This is as true in their Winter Sale as it was before it. Interest-free credit is up to seven years. Wren is, I think, still the only national retailer attaching a £200 value to its free design service: this used to be because John Lewis charged (nobody else did, or does).

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