We’ve been professionally shopping in the bathroom sector for years albeit more latterly at the top end of the sector with Dolphin. But yesterday we shopped in Wickes & Homebase with fresh eyes, and although we were pleasantly surprised by the products, god help anybody who actually wants to buy a new bathroom. As both retailers offer a full service solution I sense they have decided to create a degree shopper bewilderment to drive people to their expert services.

As anyone who has had a new bathroom will know, its a minefield of decisions and ends up costing 3 times what you thought because of all the things you have forgotten to add in – taps, showerheads and tiles being the biggest culprits. In both stores there were glimpses of help – Homebase had a fab little leaflet telling you what to think about, but it was hidden away and only the keenest of mystery shoppers will find it. Wickes had POS that communicated how to choose, but again shoppers were overwhelmed by other messages that got in the way. Both retailers are working hard to establish themselves as inspirational player in this market, their ATL communication depict a lifestyle partnership – so why doesn’t this live in store. A view from the cheap seats and only a snap shot of out thoughts but retailers come on – I’m sure you can do better! SB