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Posted in Minoli
4th April 2023
Despite some perhaps mixed forecasts for the housebuilding market, Minoli have made a good start to the year as we reflect on our first quarter performance and achievements.
Just last week the House Builders Federation (HBF) highlighted the challenges facing SME housebuilders, in particular listing delays in securing planning permissions, rising costs for some materials and energy and a growing regulatory burden. The Federation’s response to the recent budget had also been downcast with their Executive Chairman, Stewart Baseley, sharing his disappointment at the lack of new policy to facilitate the delivery of much-needed homes, when many indicators predict a fall in output.
Whilst some larger firms and certain subsectors, such as affordable housing and build to rent, are proving more resilient, the industry is bracing itself and speculating on the impact on demand of rising interest rates, the increase in general cost-of-living and a current lack of first-time buyer support. Talking to our key clients within the sector, whilst these market conditions cause uncertainty and pressure on margins, the demand for high quality new homes, whether in the private or rental sector, is still holding up very well.
Underpinning Minoli’s progress in the first quarter is the interest we’re seeing in the new ranges launched in 2023 and the continued success of our Core Essentials Collection, which is purposefully focused on the property development sector, where budgets may be constrained, and value engineering is often crucial. Whilst our Core ranges have been chosen for design and style aesthetics, they are positioned at specific price points, with affordability, durability and desirability in mind.
Quarter One has also seen Minoli continue with our strategy of investment in the areas most important to our clients – service standards, delivery capability and stockholding. We’re currently recruiting more drivers to further improve our ability to distribute promptly from our warehouse and have taken delivery of another new DAF tuck, on this occasion an 18T Curtain Sider to increase our daily delivery capacity even further, to well over 100,000 Kgs.
We’re also in the midst of our Outlet Spring Sale which, whilst mainly of appeal to a particular local trade and private sector audience, has an important function in helping clear obsolete stock, so freeing up vital space for new lines in our centrally located Oxford warehouses. With a stockholding of circa £4.0 million in net cost value, having sufficient storage space is always a priority and we’re already looking at options for further warehousing to accommodate the expanding product portfolio.
Another significant investment was our attendance of London Design Week 2023 at The Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour in March. Over five days, we had the opportunity to present Minoli’s latest collections to many new and existing customers from the interior design, architecture and property development sectors, with a stand designed as a boutique pop-up of our Marylebone showroom in London, W1.
Other promotional activity has seen Minoli gain coverage in the press. In January, DAF Driver magazine ran a feature article on one of the most recent additions to the Minoli fleet. The new DAF LF 210 was purpose-built for Minoli by the renowned Lancashire-based manufacturer and was the 500,000th truck to be produced at their Leyland plant. Also, The Tile & Stone Journal, our industry’s leading trade publication, ran editorial about the Minoli Design Trends Report, which explores five emerging design directions and the creative concepts and production technologies that are due to take centre stage in the year ahead.
So, we start Quarter 2 with reserved optimism for continued growth and with exciting initiatives in development that will further strengthen our performance and our proposition to key client sectors. An encouraging indicator is the number of conversations our teams are having with new clients in housebuilding, interior design architecture and automotive.
Also, as spring has sprung, we’re seeing increased uptake of our Outdoor By Minoli ranges, with garden designers, professional landscapers and home builders taking advantage of these durable 20 mm thickness, outside-use product lines, with coordinating indoor tiles that deliver near-seamless interior to exterior transitions.