Tiles UK, one of the most successful and respected tile distributors in the country, is set to target the specification market, via a new corporate division, as it goes for future growth.
The company, established in 1947, believes the specification sector is the one which currently offers the greatest opportunity for its development. Tiles UK is headed by Ian Kershaw and Alison Bold, both of whom are highly experienced in the tiling sector and both of whom have been chair of The Tile Association in the past.
With a strong team, which also includes David Sowden, the company serves a catchment area which stretches from Birmingham and the East Midlands to North Wales to Cumbria. It operates distribution centres in Leeds, Manchester, Warrington and Nottingham, with a total of 120,000sq ft of warehousing capacity, and its strong infrastructure includes its own transport fleet, giving it the logistical capability to offer next day delivery on all stock items and 7-10 days for non-stock products.
“We now believe there is a market requirement for a company with our capabilities and experience to offer a full range of tiles and expertise into the architectural and specification sectors,” says Ian Kershaw. “We intend to do this through our ProSpec Division, which is to focus exclusively on this market sector. ProSpec is an existing brand which already has a level of market recognition, and which we are relaunching to take the Tiles UK business forward on the next stage in its growth.”
Heading up the new division is Ian Crowther, who joins the company as managing director of the Contracts & House Developer Division – ProSpec. Ian brings with him a wealth of experience in the tiling industry, including extensive experience in specification sales, with more than 40 years in surface finishes for the specification market. As it happens Ian is also a former Chairman of TTA.
“This is a great opportunity for me, to work with colleagues whom I respect greatly and to be part of this exciting venture for Tiles UK,” he says. “I’m confident that we can bring the same level of innovation and service to the specification market that Tiles UK has achieved in the distribution sector.”
The company now has ambitious plans for the ProSpec by Tiles UK brand. Targeting architects, specifiers and interior designers, ProSpec will provide easy, one-stop solutions for peace of mind. It will offer expert guidance from start to finish of a project, with cost-effective and practical, bespoke solutions.
It will aim to develop its brand, so that it becomes synonymous with style and innovation, in keeping with the most modern design trends. The company will consolidate its plans around the theme #ceramicdreams, and it intends to install creative workshop in all its showrooms across the Group. There will also be a new website at www.prospectiles.com.
“I believe we can achieve our aspirations for the brand, because of the expertise and level of commitment that stands behind it,” says Ian Kershaw. “We operate in a challenging market currently and this is a step change for our business, but responsiveness to change is something that we are good at and which has enabled us to grow organically over the years. ProSpec is all about added value, which we believe we can offer, because our team understands what the specification market needs.
“The market requirement is for tiles of any type and format – such as mosaic, stone, thin porcelain panels or large format, all of which we source from quality manufacturers around the world, predominantly in Europe. Our offer to specification customers also includes RAL colour ranges, a slip testing service, CAD design, free sample service, sustainable, eco-friendly products and project quantities of product to be held in stock in the UK and called off as needed, eliminating any concerns about shading or calibration variances. All this will be backed by the significant Group resource that we have. The market can be assured that Tiles UK is strategically placed to focus resources on the ProSpec initiative to ensure it is a success.”