Neolith celebrates strong first year of direct sales in the UK

TheSize, parent company of synthesised stone brand Neolith, has reported a strong first year selling direct to the trade in the UK thanks to investment in a new warehouse, showroom and a focus on providing the best service and price to the retailer.

Marketing manager Andreas Manero told kbbreview: “We expect a great, great result because for us the UK is a market with a lot of potential and it has to grow in the next few years.”

Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, Neolith said it will continue to invest in the UK: “We are investing a lot in the UK each year – we have done the warehouse and showroom. So, we expect a lot of the market in the UK, but what will happen with Brexit we don’t know,” said Manero.

Based in Castellón, Spain, TheSize sells in 85 countries and has its own subsidiaries in some of them. It comprises two brands: Neolith, a sintered stone made from natural minerals that has over 50 products, and Granith, which is a collection of 12 natural granites that was launched in 2014.

The Spanish company, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019, has expanded each year. From only producing one slab in its first year, the factory can produce five million square metres of material a year, which equates to one million slabs.

Next year, the company will continue with its expansion by opening showrooms in Dusseldorf, Milan and Amsterdam. A Paris showroom will follow in 2020.

The rapid expansion of the company was specifically structured by the founders. Manero said: “The management was thinking about it at the beginning, when they were planning the strategy and thinking how to do it in the fastest time possible. Right now, after nine years, we are selling in 85 different countries.

“How can we do it that fast? Through local distributors, as that is a way to sell products to many markets. Distributors have the local knowledge, they have the facilities in every country and city, and they are the ones who are reselling our products locally,” Manero explained.

This method was used when TheSize was targeting the UK. Its products were sold through distributors in Manchester and London. After three years working this way, the company is now distributing directly. The company has its warehouse in Harlow and a showroom in Business Design Centre, in Islington, which both opened earlier this year.

The showroom and warehouse are intended to help its retail network and Manero encourages all retailers and customers to come in and see the products first hand. Manero said: “In the end, the space in a [retailer’s] showroom is limited and you cannot show all the models that are in the warehouses.

“We give tools to the retailer to sell the materials – like samples or catalogues. The ideal thing is to take the client to the warehouse to see in reality all the different materials and models and how they look – and to touch them. This is a product that you have to touch and see before buying.”

As well as being able to show customers the products, the company has put a focus on customer service and price as a way to beat the competition, Manero said: “The key is service, pricing and quality aftercare – giving them a service of the maximum quality and providing them with the materials at the moment they need them and giving them fair prices.

“I think that it is really important for all the industry not to start a price war, as this is not good for anyone.”

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