Showhome speak to Jeevan Seth, Sales Director at Just Taps Plus, to find out more about the bathroom specialists
Give us a history of Just Taps Plus
Just Taps Plus started back in 1991 when the Director of the company had two A4 sheets of paper and samples in the boot of his car, he would drive around to bathroom showrooms and plumbers’ merchants trying to sell his goods.
Keeping costs low, there was only himself as a sales rep, his wife who ran the office and day-to-day clerical jobs and in the beginning she used to also pack the parcels and get them sent to customers via courier. As the company grew, more and more staff were kept to take over the jobs that were no longer a one person chore. At the very beginning the products were kept in the garage of the directors house, as the company grew in 1999 he rented his first warehouse, which was 2000 square feet. This warehouse fell short very quickly as at the time JTP was growing rapidly and the demand for JTP goods was high, only three years after he moved into a 6000 square foot warehouse but had rented half of the same size to another company as at the time bigger than 6000 square foot was not needed.
JTP has come a long way since then; we now have 48 ranges all complete with a good family of products to give the end consumer a good choice when selecting their bathrooms products. The warehouse has grown to 20,000 square foot and we are looking into another 10,000 square foot to keep up with the growth in the coming years.
JTP has built a solid business almost under-the-radar. Through word of mouth alone we have built a business that has traded successfully through two recessions. We have not advertised in the traditional sense, but now that I am part of the future of JTP I am working with Kuldip and the directors to bring the company into the broader bathroom arena. We have undertaken a number of expeditions, developed our digital media activity, new brochures and photography and also now undertaking some PR with interviews like this of course.
Tell us about your new Inox range
Inox was launched with the specific aim of attracting the top end design market. Inox is lead free and completely hygienic – until Inox there was very little in the way of stainless steel brassware so I like to feel we led the market. Inox built on our track record of stainless steel taps in the kitchen, the bathroom was just the next step. Inox also proved a door opener for us it has given us great awareness with many retailers and higher end showrooms displaying and retailing this product very well. Interior designers, architects and contractors are also specifying the range having seen it at Sleep and May Design Series. The great thing is that this product is fully stainless steel, so it is only be comparable to other stainless steel products that positions Just Taps Plus alongside the top quality brands.
What was the inspiration behind all the collections?
When Just Taps Plus first started over 20 years ago we first started with the Queens range which was a traditional quarter turn range it was great success. The company’s owner, Kuldip Seth had one hand-typed A4 sheet of paper to sell bathroom products from his car. The Queens range will remain in our collection no matter what, it remains popular and is the cornerstone of the business. Florentine joined the line-up not long after Queens and it too remains popular after over 20 years. JTPs signature style is a collection of designs, developed in partnership with European designers to produce products that offer tangible functional benefits and take on a stunning form. Kuldip, travels the Globe for inspiration, innovation and design influence that is reflected in our current ranges.
Do you have a range of taps to suit any style – traditional or modern?
We have ranges to suit all types of bathrooms, whether they are modern or traditional. We find that modern and contemporary products sell over traditional ones for us, but we are looking this year to launch some more traditional ranges to satisfy the market
Will you be introducing any further product ranges in the next 12 months or so?
Yes we are working with our suppliers to develop some stunning ranges that will be launched this year. Our new brochure for 2015 is under photography, we will be looking to bring this to market with a new look and many more additions to our ranges by the end of February.
In 2012 we launched a fully stainless steel range that really gave us some great success and appreciation from our customers. We are hoping this year to launch another range that will stun our customers.
As the housing market in general has picked up in the past year or so, have you see a knock-on effect in terms of sales and interest in your products?
We have definitely seen changes in the market in the past year or so. There is much more positivity around and the whole ‘doom and gloom’ days are now behind us. There has been a really positive knock on effect and our sales have started to increase because of this.
How important are the customers to Just Taps Plus?
We admire all our customers, without them JTP would not be where we are today. I thank all my customers for supporting us over the past 24 years. I think one of the reasons we have been successful is recognising that it is not easy out there, especially with web-only-operators undermining the trade. But it is up to businesses like ours to do all we can to help our customers because they are first in the firing line to sell the consumer a competitive priced product. In order to help the end retailer we keep our prices down by operating in a lean way; we don’t have an expensive showroom or wasted warehouse space etc. – in fact we are bursting at the seams as we speak and we will need to consider larger premises soon.
What are your predictions for the next 12 months?
It is up to us to manage the JTP business in such a way that our retailers get the margins they need to be profitable. We are seeing customers return to us after a break of a number of years. This is a great sign and in my mind a great sense of achievement that even though our customers use other manufactures they have come back to us because they can see what we are doing has real business potential for them.
For more information, visit www.justtapsplus.co.uk