Recession Sees Change
Paul Owen, head of marketing, Trade Price Stone, asks what the recovery means for the tile and stone sector:
THE UK only really comes out of recession once the construction and manufacturing sectors recover. These sectors are among the first victims of a recession, especially construction, whereas manufacturing seems to get a grace period from already populated order books.
Looking back over the past six years trading for us, we are seeing a sea change in what people are buying and the type of work they’re carrying out. For example, we have identified that the choice of sizes of natural stone for commercial flooring projects has changed a great deal.
It’s almost as if contractors, designers and specifiers have had their respective reset buttons pressed. We have also seen a big shift in the products chosen for contract flooring. So much so, that in the past two years we’ve introduced new products with this sector in mind. One example of this is Jura Beige Limestone. It’s so hard wearing that it’s often referred to as Jura Marble; we’ve seen this used in some very large projects and it appears to be a favourite within reception areas where there’s a high footfall. More unusually (for us, at least) is that we’re seeing more and more of a shift from traditional contract flooring products available, with natural stone being embraced as a real alternative.
I wonder if it’s because now there really are viable stone products available, like Jura Beige, whereas historically some domestic stones haven’t been so suitable for contract application, which has shaken confidence a little.
I do hope that we’ve all learnt something from this recession. The current help to buy schemes are reportedly helping to drive growth in our sector and this breeds confidence in contract. Long may it continue and lets all raise a glass to incentives, economic growth and products that best serve the contract sector (albeit hopefully stone products!)
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.