RDO's refurbished Reigate showroom voted 'Best in Britain'
PUBLISHED: 17:04 11 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:06 14 April 2016
Ian Jamieson Photography
RDO Kitchens & Appliances in Reigate, Surrey have been very busy reaping the benefits of their work following the grand re-opening their Bancroft Road Showroom in Reigate following a 6 month closure during extensive building works.
The RDO showroom is now open for business meeting the ever increasing demand for quality domestic appliances at competitive prices and more.
Here’s the history
RDO is a family run business established in 1963 by the Sargant family and formally known as the Reigate Drawing Office, specialising in the supply of stationery and office equipment whilst offering architectural and constructional designs by Mr K Sargant RIBA, to the local and surrounding areas.
RDO’s current business activities today were almost by chance. During the late 80’s development projects RDO often acquired surplus quality appliances that needed to be sold quickly as appliances could not be displayed well along side stationery and office furniture. As result customers often would pop in asking if we had any odd appliances to clear.
During the mid 80’s it was decided to extend and modify the original showroom to incorporate a new display area suitable for domestic appliances. This would be the birth of RDO as we know it today. RDO’s reputation for supplying quality domestic appliances at competitive prices saw RDO rapidly grow to such a degree that the decision was made to relocate the stationery office business to a new location to enable the Bancroft Road building to be totally dedicated to domestic appliances. As the years went by, RDO’s reputation for supplying quality products along with their specialist knowledge soon established them as “RDO is the Place to go”
As the business continued into the 90’s and customers desires to see an ever increasing range of products, plans were passed to develop the first floor from offices and storage to an entirely new built-in area, the likes of which had never been seen in our industry before.
Along with the first floor refurbishment another decision was made to purchase a brand new warehouse in Reigate, another statement of RDO’s long term investment plans.
So what’s next?
The launch of the RDO website in 2000 would change the dynamics of their business forever, allowing RDO to offer more products for viewing on-line than the showroom could ever display 24/7
Further growth during 2010 resulted in RDO purchasing a brand new larger Logistics and Distribution Centre in Salfords, Surrey, incorporating a Trade Showroom to supply local trade’s people who wanted to purchase and take products away without delay.
The RDO Distribution Centre not only enables RDO to operate its own fleet of vehicles for deliveries within Surrey, Sussex and Kent but also to arrange nationwide deliveries using our logistic partners.
RDO are able to store customer orders until they need them, which is a real bonus for anyone during a home renovation programme.
In 2010 RDO were invited to the prestigious Electrical Retail Traders awards, ERT as it commonly known. It was during this event that Mr Sargant Senior and son Roger considered making one of the company’s most ambitious project ever in the company’s 50 year history
It was time to look to the future.
We spoke to Roger Sargant from RDO to find out how they have managed to achieve this success.
Roger says: “the journey started at the 2010 ERT awards where we were runners up. We realised that we needed to up our game to stay on top, I recall my Dad, the founder of RDO and now 89 years young, saying, ‘We’re going to win this before I go!’ And so the work began.”
It soon became apparent that the original building designed by Mr Sargant Senior back in the 60’s would need to close for at least 6 months for major construction and total refurbishment to commence in order for RDO to create our vision of the future.
Utilising our Trade Showroom within our Distribution Centre and optimising www.RDO.co.uk we braced ourselves for a challenging time ahead.
The building was completed on time, on budget, and to an immaculate standard that only a personal visit would enable anyone to appreciate.
The showroom, built over two levels and divided into a number of zones which clearly define each product category, remains the focus of RDO’s business activities although they have seen significant growth through their online channel since reopening. RDO now have wider walkways and a lift, to make the showroom comfortable and easily accessible for everyone.
Approximately one-third of the ground floor of the new showroom is dedicated to range cookers, which Roger describes as “the best selection of range cookers to be found almost anywhere”.
The introduction of the kitchen studio displaying a beautiful range of Stoneham kitchens can be found on the first floor along with a fabulous selection of build-in appliances. Stoneham Kitchens are a family run, premium UK manufacture. Roger says “We are perfect partner’s” as we share the same business ethics and moral stands and care with great passion about how we conduct our businesses.
RDO has a dedicated kitchen appliance demonstration area which hosts regular live cookery events.
Our Demonstration days are always popular. It allows customers who have recently purchased products to obtain the best possible results from them, whilst for those customers who are still contemplating purchasing appliance, they will get the opportunity to see and taste the food created in front of their eyes prior to purchase.
RDO have installed Free Wi-Fi throughout the showroom for customers to use. Roger says: “we encourage our customers to stay in store for a coffee and to check out prices online, after ticking so many boxes, we do not want to lose an order simply because of price”
The crowning Glory,
So back to the ERT Awards 2015 where it all began, and guess what? “ National Domestic Appliances showroom of the year 2015”, goes to RDO Kitchens & Appliances in Surrey”
Roger: “We wanted to establish ourselves as leaders of the industry, with the aim of conveying the feeling of quality and assurance throughout every touch point of the business, from visiting the website to going into the store. I believe we have fully realised this dream in all aspects and survived the significant obstacles in getting there.”
Virtual tour of showroom
RDO Kitchens & Appliances Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey. RH2 7RP