BathroomsByDesign were crowned the 2017 Best Retailer at the annual Richmond Business Awards on Friday at Twickenham Stadium, the home of Rugby.
Hosted by ex Chairman of the BAFTAs Anne Morrison, with local MPs Sir Vince Cable and Zach Goldsmith in attendance, the ceremony capped off what will become BathroomsByDesign’s most successful year in business since their inception in 2007.
The award recognises the innovative and customer centric design and supply services provided at their flagship showroom on the Lower Mortlake Road. Richmond Chamber of Commerce CEO Anne Newton commented, “The Bathrooms by Design team’s innovative, entrepreneurial and energetic approach is a winning combination and most impressive. On behalf of The Richmond and Twickenham Times and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce congratulations to Chair Sam Colwill and the Bathrooms By Design team for their magnificent win of the Best Retailer category in the Richmond Business Awards 2017. “
Known locally as the “Marilyn Monroe bathroom shop” the Richmond showroom opened in 2009 and in recent years has served the likes of World Cup winning rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio, as well as prestigious commercial projects such as the V&A Museum.
However, the business has gone through a significant transformation over the last 12 months. With the opening of a brand new state-of-the-art showroom, built with shipping containers inside their 12,000sq-ft HQ, as well as the nationwide launch of their e-commerce website with unique “Design-It-Yourself” tools, their strategy is evolving. So much so their business model is unrecognisable from their humble beginnings as an eBay reseller in a derelict office block behind Richmond Fire Station.
But perhaps the release of their pioneering Virtual Reality design software and free mobile app, where customers can see their designs in stunning 3d and VR on their phones before they buy, is the most ambitious and captivating of all, recognised by the Richmond Business Awards judges.
The expert design service offered at BathroomsByDesign is available in-store, or online (for UK customers only), and takes a matter of minutes once they have guided the customer through their requirements. This is down to the ultra quick and easy to use yet visually spectacular design software, that has been built from scratch with an in-house development team over the last 4 years, a daring approach to getting a competitive edge.
A free measuring service is provided for anyone not confident with a tape measure. The 5,000 best-in-class designer bathroom products, 800 ranges of Italian tiles and infinite options of bespoke shower glass and bathroom furniture gives customers plenty to chose from.
Once happy with the design, their customers can download the VR App and view their future dream bathroom in stunning 3d and brilliantly immersive Virtual Reality. This is possible using a Google Cardboard VR headset, given to all customers free of charge. From the comfort of their own home, customers can literally walk around their dream bathroom before they buy. A far cry from the print outs and PDFs available elsewhere (if you’re lucky).
Founder and Chairman of BathroomsByDesign, Sam Colwill, said of their award success:
“It’s an honour to be named Best Retailer of such a wonderful part of London, a vibrant hub for businesses and our spiritual home, Richmond.
2017 has been a challenging yet truly exciting year, with the opening of our second showroom, launch of our new website and release of our Virtual Reality app. We are lucky to have a great team across the business, who have each made this year so successful, which wouldn’t have been possible without the stewardship of our new Managing Director, Charlie O’Rourke. This award recognises the hard work, dedication and passion the team show every day and it’s great to know we’re on the right track.
Technology will continue to play a big part in our business as we push the boundaries of what we can offer our customers. We are becoming more efficient at providing a traditionally complicated service and with our stronger buying power we are now very much an affordable bathroom design and supply solution. Ultimately it’s our duty to make it as convenient, affordable and enjoyable as possible for our customers to buy a beautiful bathroom. I’m really keen to see how far we’ll get in the next 12 months.”
BathroomsByDesign clearly have a plan for growth, more showrooms are being opened in 2018 and they are creating a dedicated commercial team to build upon the prestigious projects they have supplied in recent years including the V&A Museum, Fortnum & Mason and luxury hotels across London.
With 27 employees and counting, this team are on a mission to disrupt the bathroom industry. For anyone who needs a new bathroom now or in the future, this can only be a good thing.
The BathroomsByDesign VR App is now available on Android and IOS