Interview: New Dornbracht UK head Craig Johnstone picks up the tempo

Dornbracht’s lately appointed UK head of gross sales and advertising and marketing Craig Johnstone tells Amelia Thorpe how progress is underway – with progressive new merchandise, improved service and expanded markets.

After greater than 20 years at Kohler Mira, Craig Johnstone took over because the UK head of gross sales and advertising and marketing for luxurious brassware model Dornbracht in October final 12 months. And why the transfer? “After I was approached concerning the function, there was nice enchantment across the ambition for progress and funding, not simply within the UK but additionally globally,” says Johnstone, 52. “It was that, mixed with the steadiness of the corporate and up to date funding from the Knauf household, now the key shareholder.”

Touchfree MEM mixer from Dornbracht

Taking up from David Nicholls, who labored at Dornbracht from 2016 and has since moved to floorcovering distributor Headlam, Johnstone says his expertise throughout toilet retail and mission sectors leaves him properly positioned to develop Dornbracht’s enterprise within the UK. “Promoting by means of showrooms, working with architects and designers, and on residential developments and within the lodge sector, they’re the important thing channels that we proceed to deal with,” he says. 

“We had double digit progress in 2018 and 2019, although clearly 2020 because the Covid 12 months was a problem, however we returned to double digit progress in 2021,” says Johnstone. “We’re additionally anticipating sturdy progress this 12 months.” He attributes this to deal with creating gross sales with current prospects and on new enterprise. “We even have an incredible vary of merchandise – with funding in new merchandise coming which might be clearly going to be a large affect by way of how we obtain progress.”

Dornbracht’s Tara tap collection was first launched 30 years ago – and is now available in a wide choice of finishes, including new Dark Chrome shown here

It’s well-known that the innovation price at Dornbracht, based in 1950, had slowed, previous to the funding by the Knauf household in 2020 and introduction of latest brassware assortment CYO in 2021. Now Dornbracht has launched a variety of touch-free merchandise, new finishes for its traditional Tara vary first launched 30 years in the past, new showering merchandise, and new XCross and Xcut washstands from sister model Alape, recognized for its glazed metal merchandise. “There shall be extra thrilling new designs which is able to include the constant reliability that you’d anticipate from Dornbracht and Alape,” he says. The corporate has been carbon impartial because the finish of 2021, with most uncooked supplies and preliminary merchandise coming from inside a 200km radius of the manufacturing facility. 

Dornbracht’s new matt black finish Lissé basin mixer

“How we enhance our service ranges stays a key strategic pillar us,” continues Johnstone. “Actually in my first six months, it’s positively one thing that we’re enhancing – I’m not saying that we’re there but, but it surely’s one thing that we’re working arduous at.” Merchandise are shipped to prospects instantly from the Dornbracht and Alape factories in Germany with present charges of supply efficiency “in extra of 90%” on time and in full, with plans to drive “north of 95%’”. 

From the new Dornbracht Rain Shower collection, combining the feeling of rain with chromotherapy from 2 integrated light sources, available in 11 different finishes

“We now have at all times operated within the luxurious market, however we even have the flexibility – with sure merchandise and with Alape – to additionally function within the subsequent tier under,” says Johnstone. “For instance, in a lodge, sometimes we would supply merchandise to the suites, however we could promote extra into the usual rooms.” Development, he says, stays his focus. “Clearly there are some headwinds round – that everyone is going through – however completely our intention is to proceed the double digit progress, and with our new product improvement programme as properly, we now have loads of alternatives.” 

Alape’s new Xcross freestanding washbasin, launched at Salone del Mobile in Milan in June

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