Howarth Timber and Building Supplies is aiming to become a major player in the kitchen market after appointing Ratinder Sandhu as its kitchen category manager.
Having spent 30 years as a kitchen specialist at Arnold Laver, Ratinder brings a deep knowledge of the market to her new role and is spearheading a concerted push to raise awareness of the strength of Howarth Timber’s kitchen offering.
As well as overseeing Howarth's kitchen showrooms and working with the firm's trade customers, Ratinder is leading the development of the brand new Howarth At Home website, which will showcase the company's full range of kitchen products, services and expertise, with a focus on expanding the company's retail customer base.
Howarth currently works with small house builders, from five to 15 plots, but the company is aiming to expand the contract side of the business to generate a higher volume of work through the firm's Leeds branch, and a second kitchen specialist has been recruited to support this effort.
Ratinder said: "Howarth has a strong reputation all over the country, but kitchens are not something the company is particularly well known for.
"We are working hard to build the firm's retail, trade and contract kitchen business."
One of the first steps Ratinder has taken since joining Howarth is to make the firm a corporate member of the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installers (IKBBI).
"Being part of the IKBBI will help us to promote our products and it will link us with installers," Ratinder explained.
"The institute will take the burden of ensuring all tradesmen have the correct insurance and certification before working with us.
"This will be key to our continued growth in the kitchen market."