Cabinet maker October 2013 Special Minerva Belgium

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Deknudt Mirrors is featured as one of the exhibitors in the house show of Minerva buying group

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Cabinet maker October 2013 Special Minerva Belgium

  1. 1. FEATURE BELGIUM 28 | www.cabinet-maker.co.uk | 27 September 2013 PROMOTIONALFEATURE Recor Home FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.recor-group.com Cabinet Maker speaks to six Belgium furniture manufacturers to find out their plans to conquer the UK market Recor Recor Group was founded in 1949 by René Corthouts. Initially specialising in the manufacture of mattresses, the company has evolved to now also make and supply armchairs, sofas, sofa beds, cabinet and dining furniture.Today the company produces more than 900 models and exports to over 40 countries worldwide. Here, Kris Nouwen, export manager at Recor, answers our questions on the company’s strategy in the UK. Does your offer in the UK differ to what you supply other companies in Europe? Yes – some of the models in our range have been specifically designed and developed for the UK and Irish markets. But we still like to maintain the same standards that we aim to achieve on the continent, for example: a good price to quality ratio, a sales support desk, efficient transport services and good after sales service. Europe.The UK market has been a major part in this for decades and we would like it to continue to be for many years to come. How important is the UK market to Recor? Recor considers the UK to be very important.We are a European- based manufacturer and while we export furniture all over the world,the majority of our business is still generated within Will you be bringing or offering anything exclusive to the UK? Yes, our Westminster model has been specifically designed for the UK, as is our contemporary suite called Campo, as well as our range of relax chairs called Easy Line.Within this range, end users have the option to choose different types of back, arms, feet – so they can develop their own personal chair. What can your business offer that those already located in the UK can’t? A different perspective. Although certain models are developed specifically for the UK, others are meant for the European market. Taking into consideration that we are not at the other end of the world, we are in a position to provide customers small quantities. DISCOVER THE UNIQUE DISCOVER THE UNIQUE ROM 20CM CONCEPT MADE TO FIT YOUR INTERIOR And boost you sales with our easy to use product configurator, a digital tool only available for ipad. WWW.ROM.BE MADE TO FIT YOUR INTERIOR And boost you sales with our easy to use product configurator, a digital tool only available for ipad. WWW.ROM.BE DISCOVER THE UNIQUE ROM 20CM CONCEPT MADE TO FIT YOUR INTERIORS Recor, established in 1949, has developed into a leading Belgian furniture and upholstery manufacturer. It’s a family business with nine manufacturing units (covering 200.000m2 ), a thousand staff members and exporting to over 40 countries across the world. Recor offers a complete collection with an excellent price-quality ratio suited to meet the demands of our international clientele. Tel : +32 11 289811 Mail : info@recor.be web : www.recor-group.com The Belgian Connection Earlier this year Cabinet Maker was privileged enough to be invited by BelgoFurn – the export organisation of the Belgium furniture industry – to journey to the multilingual nation so we could ascertain what the market has to offer UK retailers. With the Belgian home market consisting of around 10 million people, the amount of business in the companies’ native homeland is simply not substantial enough to sustain the manufacturers alone. Therefore export makes up about 60%, on average, of a Belgian furniture manufacturers turnover, with its biggest market being France, then has traditionally made a beeline to the Far East where the furniture is cheaper because the associated production costs are considerably lower than other countries. However, external factors such as increases in prices of Asian collections, weaker exchange rates and a rise in freight costs have created an opportunity for European exporters to be much more competitive than a few years ago, while also offering the benefit of proximity. And this is exactly the message that six Belgium furniture companies exhibiting at the Minerva Furnisher Guild’s autumn buying event next week Holland and then the UK and Germany. But export from Belgium to the UK is growing, and more companies are seeking out opportunities to expand their business in the UK. Keen to demonstrate the breadth of the offer sitting right on the UK’s doorstep, BelgoFurn accompanied Cabinet Maker on a three-day tour across Belgium so we could witness first-hand the inner workings of five of the country’s best producers of upholstery, beds, living and dining furniture and home accessories. Of course, when it comes to importing goods from other markets, the astute UK retailer will be making crystal clear. In its never-ending quest to publicise the benefits of buying from Belgium, BelgoFurn has arranged a special stand for a handful of its members to exhibit to Minerva’s retail members. So to find out a bit more about the companies and their respective plans for the UK market, Cabinet Maker has taken a closer look at those businesses exhibiting.
  2. 2. FEATURE BELGIUM 30 | www.cabinet-maker.co.uk | 27 September 2013 PROMOTIONALFEATURE Launched in 2010, the 20cm concept marked a new era for the business, with substantial investment being made so that ROM could fully customise any of its suites. Following up the introduction of the concept with the launch of an extranet sales tool to simplify the selling process of the 20cm models, ROM has evolved this with the release of an intuitive app that comes preinstalled in a complimentary iPad for retailers that can rest in a point of sale stand in-store. The app works without internet access and allows retailers to build and tailor a customer’s product right before their eyes, seeing the price alter as components are added and removed. Explaining more about the benefits of the application and how ROM can debrand it or integrate the retailer’s own logo through its My Logo Concept, Luc Embrecht, UK & Ireland manager at ROM, says:“It took more than a year to develop and we’ve now got two people working full-time who investigate ways it can be refined and, of course, updated, because we’ve always got new fabrics and covers being introduced. “We’ve continued to listen to our customers about how we can update the software. Last year we introduced a function allowing customers to flip between different ROM models featuring their own specified configurations, rather than having to create one model then starting right from the beginning to see what the different customisations would look like on another of our models.” FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.rom.be ROM Founded in 1961, ROM originally manufactured its products in a separate facility in Eupen, but transferred its production to Eastern Europe in 1989 to compete with the fierce competition of imports from the Far East. Today ROM manufactures from wholly owned factories located in Tunisia, Romania and Poland, with its product development, in-house design, customer service and ICT departments based in its Belgian headquarters. ROM’s largest investment of late has been the development of its own iPad application to assist retailers in illuminating the features and benefits of its unique 20cm concept. The brainchild of ROM’s owner, Paul Rom, the 20cm concept offers consumers the ability to produce a bespoke chair, sofa or corner group in any multiple of 20cm. Á La Carte3 The unique à la carte3 concept allows consumers to make their own made-to-measure rug in three steps. We spoke to Karl Van Der Spiegel from the company to find out more about the concept and its ambitious growth plans. Why did you want to exhibit at this year’s autumn Minerva show? The à la Carte3 made-to-measure rug concept was launched last year and we expect to develop it measure rug concept, whereas in other countries, we use other distribution channels. What are your thoughts of the UK retail market at present? We believe that there is a lot of potential in the UK for a new and innovative rug concept.We also believe that the UK can become – in the short term – the second most important market for à la Carte3 . What can à la Carte3 offer that those businesses already located in the UK can’t? The new à la Carte3 concept offers you the complete freedom to create a made-to-measure rug and is composed of five different collections:Timeless Classics, Pure Basics, Elegant Luxury, Metropolitan Glamour and Exotic Flavours.These five ranges are broken down not only by colour but also in some cases by texture and materials with, for example, the Pure Basics range appealing to customers looking for a natural, homespun aesthetic compared to the more stark minimalism of Metropolitan Glamour. à la Carte3 is already instigating change on the high street, helping retailers revolutionise their shop floors with new point-of-sale marketing displays, enabling them to devote less space to actual stock and more to selling lifestyles. How has trading performed in Belgium over the last 12 months? à la carte3 was launched last year and we have already equipped 400 stores with displays in Belgium, Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and even as far away as New Zealand. à la carte3 FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.alacarte3.eu T he new à la Carte3 concept offers you the complete freedom to create a made- to-measure rug DISCOVER THE UNIQUE ROM 20CM CONCEPT MADE TO FIT YOUR INTERIOR And boost you sales with our easy to use product configurator, a digital tool only available for ipad. WWW.ROM.BE MADE TO FIT YOUR INTERIOR And boost you sales with our easy to use product configurator, a digital tool only available for ipad. WWW.ROM.BE B.S.M. nv T +32 (0)9 2429700 F +32 (0)9 2829822 www.bsm-nv.com info@bsm-nv.com www.facebook.com/BSMnv àla Carte Zauber der Metropole 3 Made to measure rugs, created by you. further in the UK. An exhibition is the ideal place to get more insights and introduce the concept with a large group of independent furniture retailers and experts. Will you approach the UK audience differently to that representative of the rest of Europe? Yes, we are targeting the specialised carpet departments in furniture stores and the specialised carpet stores in the UK interested in the made-to- àla Carte 3 Made to measure rugs, created by you. à la carte3
  3. 3. FEATURE BELGIUM 32 | www.cabinet-maker.co.uk | 27 September 2013 PROMOTIONALFEATURE Decora Reflect+ FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.deknudtmirrors.com How important is a strong presence within the UK market to Deknudt? Having a strong presence in the UK market is crucial to us.We have a tight sales network of eight representatives travelling around, so that says enough. Participation at three shows within five months is a clear indication that we want to conquer the market.The fact that we will be the only Belgian company exhibiting at the Interiors UK show in January 2014 is also a very important step for us, as we’ve been absent from the event for three years. What can your business offer that those already located in the UK can’t? Contrary to most of our UK competitors, we have a fully vertically integrated production line in Europe. Only one out of our three collections is partially imported from Asia, but we communicate very openly about that.We are so confident in all the mirrors produced by ourselves in our own European facilities that we give a warranty of five years on our silvering and decoration. This is absolutely unseen in the market. Will you be offering anything exclusive to the UK retailers? Yes, as we have just presented our brand new collection at the famous Maison & Objet Fair in Paris. All these new models will also be exhibited at the Minerva show. Besides that, we have prepared a couple of mirrors, specifically designed for the UK market. Deknudt Mirrors Third generation manufacturer Deknudt Mirrors is part of the Deknudt Mirror Group, which was founded in 1946 by Frans Deknudt. Now ran by Frans’son Francis and grandson Jan, the company operates from a site in Deerlijk, situated in the Belgian province of West Flanders. Deknudt Mirrors buys mirrored glass from its manufacturing sister company, Deknudt Mirror Works, to produce and sell a wide range of finished decorative mirrors for the retail trade. Today Deknudt Mirrors designs and sells a comprehensive selection of mirrors through three collections: Homka, Decora and its high-end brand Reflect+. With the launch of the Reflect+ brand in 2011, Deknudt now supplies the mid to very high-end of the market, with its mirrors retailing from €100 all the way up to €4,000. Jan, sales director at Deknudt, says:“We use only the best European glass, which is of triple A quality. “This glass is then silvered by our team of experts, which makes it corrosion proof.” For added piece of mind, Deknudt also offers an industry- leading guarantee on its mirrors. “Every product that we produce ourselves we offer a guarantee of five years on the silvering and decoration, which is not seen elsewhere in the market.” How does your service to the UK differ to that in other markets? We have learnt over the years that the UK is the land of the discounts.Therefore, we are preparing a very tempting offer for our customers. Also the selection of our mirrors shown [at the Minerva show] will be UK-customised. Of course it would be impossible to show all our collection, which comprises of over 250 models. How do you perceive the current UK retail market? A very competitive market, obviously. But on the other hand, we are glad to see that, in our segment, there is no real competition.We are more than convinced that in the UK there is a huge number of people who want genuine and original products, not copies of copies that are made in China. Homka PURE OAKBelgian Product +32 (0)3 670 00 20 info@theunsmte.be www.theunsmte.be Deknudt Mirrors Kasteelstraat 10 8540 Deerlijk t +32 (0) 56 73 55 11 f +32 (0) 56 70 40 64 info@deknudtmirrors.com
  4. 4. FEATURE BELGIUM 34 | www.cabinet-maker.co.uk | 27 September 2013 PROMOTIONALFEATURE that representative of the rest of Europe? We are aware of the challenges in the UK market and understand that consumers have different tastes to the European market, which is why we’re confident that the new range will be suitable for the UK. What are your thoughts on the UK marketplace at present? It has been challenging for the past few years, especially in cabinet, but we have started to see an improvement especially in high end cabinet, which is where our product ranges sit. How much importance do you place on a strong presence within the British market? It is extremely crucial to us.The UK market is our third most important behind our two home markets and we have always enjoyed a successful trading partnership over the years in the UK and it’s key that this continues to grow. What is Theuns’USP? Different designs, styles and finishes using the highest quality oak, appealing to the top end of the UK market. How has trade in Belgium fared over the last year? We have performed well in the past 12 months in Belgium; we continue to grow in Belgium and this is complemented by our strong brand image in our home country. Theuns (MTE) Essen-based Theuns (MTE) will celebrate its 80th anniversary next year. Since its launch, the company has grown to become a leader in solid oak furniture, producing exciting and unique designs using the finest European oak. All of the manufacturer’s products are PEFC (the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) certified. Here, Oliver Haetzman from Theuns MTE reveals his thoughts on the UK market. What do you plan to exhibit at the show? We are looking forward to exhibiting our exciting new Zen range at the show, which we are confident will appeal to the UK market. The UK is a very important market for us. As a result, Zen is being launched in the UK before our traditional launch at the Brussels show. Does Theuns (MTE) approach the UK audience differently to The Bari collection The Kaprun collection FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.theunsmte.be BSM With its own production facility in Indonesia, BSM is an established manufacturer of both indoor and outdoor furniture. It produces three brands of furniture – two for the living room, B-Cosy (living), B- Seated (seating) and an outdoor furniture brand B-Summer (outdoor). Cabinet Maker caught up with Stein Mersseman, owner of BSM, to find out more. How has business at BSM been recently? Business has been very quiet over the last 12 months so it can only get better. Have you undertaken any special preparations for the upcoming Minerva exhibition? Inpreparationfor theMinerva show,wevisitedsomeofitsretail members,whichenabledusto get abetterunderstandingof themarket,meet thebuyersand present ourcompanyandproducts. What are your expectations for the show? We hope to acquire some orders at the show so we can penetrate the market slowly and grow steadily. How do you perceive the current UK retail market? I’ve noticed that when it comes to dining sets there is not a lot of diversity. There seems to be a huge amount of honey coloured oak, but to me it all looks somewhat the same. How important is expansion with the UK market to BSM? BSM is dedicated to becoming a strong player – in our niche – within the market. The UK market is part of our general expansion plan. What can your business offer that those already located in the UK can’t? We have our own manufacturing unit specialising in teak wood and are capable of laminating the teak, which makes it 70% stronger, impossible to crack or bend and we provide a 100% protection against stains.To my knowledge, this is not yet on the market. The Isis mirror FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT info@bsm-nv.com MEMBER Specialists in Adjustable Electric beds A Part of a Group T: +44 (0) 1924 469000 www.bodyease.co.uk ... with British innovation “Let me tell you why Lynch is your best choice, just as it has been for many of this country’s more successful furniture retailers.” Gareth Price, UK Sales Director For nearly 100 years, the family-owned Lynch Sales Company has delivered on our promise to help our retail clients succeed through Lynch promotional sales, or close with dignity with our complete close-out sales. I am particularly proud that many of those storeowners reward us with their repeat business, time and again. Let them tell you why they prefer the integrity of our business model and our one-page contract over that of our competition. To learn more, call the Lynch Sales Company today for a complete outline, including a copy of our easy-to-understand, one-page contract, or visit www.LynchSales.co.uk Serving the U.S., Canada and Europe• 29 Warblington Road, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7HE • Tel: +44 (0) 1243 378369 www.LynchSales.co.uk xxxxxx
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