Belgium 04.02.2021

What’s keeping kitchen retailers awake at night?

On the 25th of November GfK Belgium held a webinar exclusively for retailers in the kitchen business. The event was open for partnering and non-partnering retailers. Anticipation was high as the sector itself does not have a dedicated lobby nor a tradition of knowledge sharing. The assembled webinar attendees represented an estimated 2/3rd of the national kitchen sales.

The webinar content tapped into multiple data sources and studies. In addition, voting polls were launched among the attendees to spur interaction. One deserves to be highlighted:

What is the most important change in the kitchen retail business compared to 5 years ago? 

This specific question introduced the results of a study GfK repeated after 5 years. In our opinion, this is an ideal moment to reflect on the changes within the business according to the retailers themselves.

It is remarkable to see that the present retailers spread their answers. This indicates that the sector has multiple priorities and retailers are facing different challenges nowadays. However, when we closely look at the answers with the most votes it becomes clear that almost 1/3rd of the retailers agrees that the landscape has become more competitive by online sales.

Although a complete online provider of kitchens is non-existent in Belgium, the sector does face a trend where customers order kitchens without the built-in appliances. The improved performance in online sales of built-in appliances can be linked to the success of e-commerce which is fueled by the current COVID measures. It is not necessarily related to consumers who are searching for lower prices or discounts.

The graph below shows a long-term evolution of online built-in appliances sales by type of retailer. From the GfK Point-Of-Sales data we can conclude that 7% of sales in built-in appliances were generated by Internet Sales in the last 12 months (moving annual total Oct ’20). An explosive growth of 32% was observed versus the previous. This evolution could be completely attributed to the click & mortars, the traditional shops with an online business, that doubled their sales.

When comparing the feedback from our webinar’s voting panel and the yearly evolution of the GfK Point-Of-Sales Data, we can conclude that retailers are right. Online is booming and it should be seen as the most important challenge in the current days. In an increasingly more saturated retailer landscape, gut-feeling is no longer adequate to face tomorrow’s challenges. Join our retail panel and be in the know of the latest industry’s facts.

Find out how you can benefit from our Retail Partner Program by downloading our brochure here.


Written by: Karel Tyberghein ( - Major Domestic Appliances expert