In recent years, we have seen one of the main focal points on superyachts and in homes move from the kitchen to the bathroom. Bathroom spaces are increasing, and gadgets such as televisions are finding their place by the tub. Yachting Pages recently spoke to Eleanor Heaton-Armstrong, head of PR and marketing at West One Bathrooms to find out how business is going and what new trends are taking over.
When was your business founded?
We started out as the first Armitage and Shanks showroom, which was based in North Audley Street Mayfair, London, in 1978; we restructured and West One Bathrooms was formed.
We are a family run business, currently have nine UK showrooms and a subsidiary based in Cannes, France. Today we are one of the world’s leading specialist luxury bathroom suppliers, sourcing products from all leading suppliers and delivering worldwide
In your own words how would you describe your business?
We are purveyors of the world’s finest bathrooms. Bathrooms over the years have transformed from being historically functional spaces to the luxurious, technologically advanced sanctuaries of today. Our experienced staff are familiar with all the technical aspects of bathroom installation and design.
What makes you different from your competitors?
We only work with established renowned suppliers from our showroom locations and do not sell via the internet. It is our aim to provide the highest level of service and customer experience and this is achieved by our high quality showrooms and experienced staff.
West One Bathrooms has the ability to source virtually any products from anywhere in the world and in addition offer a bespoke service to meet client’s specific requirements. Furthermore we have possibly the largest collection of luxury bathroom accessories at our dedicated Mayfair accessory boutique, which supplies all types of clientele whether consumer or from the design sector to cater for aircraft, yachts, hotels and private residences.
What’s new with your business?
We are currently working on opening a new showroom – watch this space! We can’t tell you any more at the moment, but it’s a huge project and one we are immensely excited to have championed.
Who is your key target audience?
To our customers, bathrooms have become less utilitarian and have as much of a focus to the home as the kitchen. Our customers are from all sectors whether high-end or contract, they are design-focused and enjoy the experience of working with West One Bathrooms due to our excellent service, diverse product ranges and exclusivity.
What are the biggest challenges that you face in the superyacht industry at the moment?
Primarily it’s getting the shipyards to understand that we can supply all their bathroom needs. Whilst individual manufacturers will approach shipyards direct, often they are only trying to get their individual products specified, which in many cases forms a small part of the overall bathroom. We are independent and offer choice along with the ability to source and supply what best suits the clients’ requirements/specifications.
How is business? How have you been effected by the recession?
Business is going very well and we are gaining market share. We are well established and have seen no noticeable change in trading throughout the recession. It’s fair to say we have continually expanded throughout and increased turnover primarily as a result of our excellent service, strong marketing and reputation.
What are your top tips in your industry?
Keep an open mind, think big and always prepare for the worst!
What is the most bizarre client request you’ve received?
To supply miniature shower doors to enable the maid to pass soaps and shampoos to the client whilst in the shower – strange but true!
What are the current trends in your sector at the moment?
Technology is ever advancing and we are seeing increased use of integrated systems for steam/sauna and shower areas. Furthermore, we are seeing an increased demand for specialist finishes such as bronze and rose gold.
Who would be your dream client?
We’ve had a few royal clients in our time – more of those would be fabulous!