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HomeSector FocusTILE Merchants has been working in the industry for more than nine...

TILE Merchants has been working in the industry for more than nine years

TILE Merchants is a distributor of ceramic and porcelain tiles to the retail and building sector and has been working in the industry for more than nine years.

‘Shipping full pallets out of our UK warehouses, we also specialise in selling full container loads directly to our customers from our partner factories across the world,’ says the company. ‘With a national sales force of five representatives covering the whole of the UK and Ireland we’re perfectly placed to cover your pallet and container requirements. We have two distribution depots stocking more than 5,000 SKUs in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, with more than 60,000sq ft of space.’

The company says it stocks a wide range of products including porcelain and ceramic tiles as well as 2cm thick porcelain pavers and have recently been introducing larger format tiles to its collection including 80x80s and 60x120s and its new ranges arriving in 1,000×1,000 and 1,200×1,200.

‘While traditionally we’re pallet distributors, we’ve adapted to understand the evolving market and the increasing demand for the larger format tiles and so to complement the selling of these ranges we’ve introduced a portfolio of special order stands which we manufacture inhouse and ship directly to our customers.’

These special order stands are designed to fit the smallest space but, says the company, showcase the ranges to its full extent and are delivered readymade along with the samples so they can be put out on display as soon as they arrive.

‘Selling directly to small and large retailers across the country, in recent years we’ve diversified to win various specifications in the contract market. Prior to coronavirus restrictions, we’ve been a regular exhibitor at the Surface Design Show in Islington, showcasing specific ranges to this sector with great success, showing our product portfolio can cater perfectly for retailers, architects and designers alike and enabling our customers to learn about the extent of our back catalogue of ranges.’

Through exhibiting at this event the company says it’s increased its understanding of the contract market and feels it’s now perfectly placed to advise and consult on the specification market and find the perfect range to suit the requirements in question.

‘Owing to our position in the industry we not only have a full portfolio for which to select ranges from but are also perfectly placed to source a more unique range that we might not stock in our UK warehouses.

With our own in house IT department we have invested heavily into the design of a bespoke computer system that addresses both our and our customers’ needs to ensure that from the point of ordering to the point of delivery everything runs smoothly.

‘This system also allows us to provide our customers with their own customer portal, through which they can log in and see live stock levels and download images of the ranges that they purchase. In addition to this in the next few months we will be expanding this customer portal to also include the functionality for customers to order directly through the portal.’

In response to the recent pandemic and the resulting increase in demand for home improvements the company says it’s increased its stock levels and carefully planned its future buying for the next 12 months to ensure it has stock continuity and stability offering a solid, reliable supply option.

‘With forward thinking and a highly competent back office team we offer our current and future customers not just competitive prices but also fantastic customer service. In line with our forward planning we have recently been involved with the purchase of a brand new distribution hub based just outside of Ipswich in Hadleigh.

‘This facility will give us the opportunity to utilise the additional 80,000sq ft and increase our pallet storage even more. Strategically located just 13 miles from Felixstowe this brand new logistics hub is ideally placed to enable our group to be future proofed and prepared for the opportunities that will come following Brexit and the coming light emanating from the tunnel of the pandemic. It’s envisaged the new facility will be used as a bulk feeder hub where bulk stocks will be held ex-UK rather than overseas to avoid lengthy delays.’

This is a tremendously exciting opportunity, says the company, and it feels confident its customers will greatly benefit from this addition.

‘Our current favourite product range is the 20mm thick porcelain pavers, which are ideal to smarten up any patio area and, with the complementing 10mm thick porcelain tiles to match, the end consumer can have continuity from inside the home to outside.’

If you’d like further information, contact Tile Merchants directly.

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