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Posted in Minoli
22nd December 2022
It’s been a busy year for Minoli with an unprecedented number of exciting new ranges added to our portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tiles, the launch of an entirely new Outdoor by Minoli collection of exterior use Italian porcelain pavers, continued investment in our team, our digital platforms, premises and vehicle fleet, plus we welcomed some fabulous new clients across our key market sectors.
In January we relaunched the Minoli Outlet with a refreshed, dedicated showroom, a brand-new website featuring details of all the products on offer and our Outlet specific Facebook page. The Outlet has been a huge success as a channel through which to redistribute our high-quality porcelain and ceramic tiles to fulfil residential and local trade demand. Not only have we seen record turnover and tonnage sold, but we have also been able to significantly reduce waste caused by the disposal of discontinued lines to virtually none, by offering some real bargains with which to realise someone’s home improvement dreams.
February saw the first of many orders from new Automotive client accounts in the UK and Europe. Based in Oxfordshire, the heart of the British motor industry and home to Formula 1, it is no wonder that Minoli have longstanding links and extensive experience with the motor industry, and we are trusted by major brands to fulfil their Corporate Identity requirements, often with a UK and international remit. From prestige to popular, our clients include the sector’s top automotive brands, as well as race teams and individual specialist collectors.
This year, in March, we published our market sector update relaying our views on the different segments of the property industry including traditional House Building & Apartments, Build to Rent, Social Housing, Retirement Living, Refurbishment and Change of Use. Within our team we have decades of experience working closely with constructors and developers, so it was interesting to reflect on the challenges and opportunities for these different segments. Our business model is based on holding the most popular of our extensive ranges in plentiful stock ready for prompt delivery from our purpose-built UK Distribution Centre in Oxford, representing some £4m in net cost value inventory. With nationwide shortages in many essential building materials, this has proved a valuable differentiator, for both Minoli and our clients.
Springtime is often when people turn to the garden and look to improve their outside spaces. With this in mind, in April we chose to launch and stock our new Aix and Norde Outdoor ranges of 20 mm porcelain paving. It was some ten years ago, in November 2012, that Minoli first launched our complementary inside / outside ranges, with coordinating designs specifically produced with extra grip surfaces for use outdoors. Technology has come a long way since then and today’s porcelain tiles are more durable and colourfast, stain and slip resistant than ever.
In May, to coincide with the return of the Grand Designs Live show at London’s ExCel, we published our thoughts on the latest Design Trends in Porcelain Tiles. Looking at the latest innovations from the show, chose to explore five new product developments or directions that would partner perfectly with Minoli’s porcelain tile ranges. These included technical advancements in Underfloor Heating, Shower Technology, Flexible Working Facilities, Outdoor Kitchens and Slim-line / Sliding Doors. It turns out that the breadth and depth of potential applications for porcelain tiles is indeed something worth writing about!
Having tested the market with our initial external-use products, in June we set about the full launch of the new Outdoor By Minoli proposition, with a dedicated section of our website, a specific Facebook page, a comprehensive Outdoor product brochure and a considerable investment in UK stock, representing over half a million pounds in net cost value. With these assets in hand, we introduced our new ranges to Professional Landscapers and Garden Designers, and to our established client base of Housebuilders, Property Developers, Architects and Designers, who more so than ever are looking for holistic surface solutions for inside / outside designs.
As things hotted up in July, with record temperatures for parts of the UK, we were in the midst of our Summer Launch Preview featuring new ranges, new designs and colours, new outdoor products and additions to both our Contemporary and Core Essentials Collections. The range extensions included lines being added to Wanderlust, Luminous Lume and Norway, as well as brand new ranges in Elysian, Lagoona and Exigo. For our Summer Launch, we chose to focus principally on maximising the use of our new digital channels with an e-brochure, news articles on our website, promotions across Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and email marketing to our clients and prospective new customers.
In August, we were delighted to see the latest addition to the Minoli fleet ready to hit the road, in its brand-new livery highlighting the significance of this particular vehicle – the 500,000th truck to be produced by DAF, the renowned Lancashire-based manufacturer. One of four new trucks on order for the year, this state-of-the-art vehicle was originally handed over at a ceremony on the Leyland DAF production line, back in November 2021, attended by Jonathon Minoli and his daughter Lucy. Since that occasion, the chassis was sent to specialist truck body builders, Wessex Vehicle Services, who constructed and fitted the rear cargo box, then to supplying DAF dealership HTC for the process of final commissioning, and lastly to Oxfordshire-based sign writer, Dan Haines Signs, to be adorned with its new livery. The arrival of this purpose-built LGV underlines our commitment to continued investment in our critical business infrastructure.
September was a busy month by any standard. The Cersaie Fair in Bologna was back after Covid in better shape than ever and Minoli attended to meet with production partners and choose the new collections for launch in 2023. We also hosted an ‘Evening with DK Engineering’ at our London showroom and over 100 guests joined us to see close-up some of the most exquisite supercars and to hear about the history of the DK Engineering business. The refurbishment of Vertu’s state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Slough dealership was completed featuring three selected stone and wood effect Minoli ranges. And lastly, we recorded a record month of sales for the Minoli Outlet Store with almost 800 square meters of tiles purchased by trade and residential clients.
In October, we were delighted to be involved in launching the latest retail representation of the iconic Lotus brand, with the completion of the new Corporate Identity at the Bell & Colvill Centre in Horsley, Surrey, which is one of, if not the longest established Lotus dealerships in the world. The tile chosen for Lotus showrooms is the Minoli BST Boost Grey rectified Italian porcelain in both 120/120 and 60/60 format, which have also been installed in the product display areas at Lotus’s production plant in Hethel, Norfolk
As a precursor to previewing our new Launch ranges for 2023, in November we published a further series of articles exploring the latest Design Trends in Porcelain Tiles, highlighting how existing and forthcoming collections are setting new benchmarks and demonstrating cutting-edge innovation. We also enjoyed celebrating client successes at the What House?, Thames Valley and Surrey Property Awards, with developments all featuring Minoli product lines in bathrooms, kitchens and living areas.
And so to December, a truly memorable month as this time each year we release full details of the new ranges for the coming year, with extensive coverage across all our social media channels and website. This year was particularly special as it is the tenth year that Minoli have held our Preview Event at the exclusive Home House private members club on Portman Square in Marylebone, central London. The inaugural Home House Preview Event was held in 2011, and following a two-year gap due to Covid, we were delighted to have been able to reinstate the event and return to Home House. On Thursday 8th December, well over 200 guests joined the Minoli team to celebrate Christmas and take stock of the new series and range extensions on display.
Looking back, 2022 has not been without its challenges, with supply issues caused by the combined impact of the Brexit transition, the post-pandemic building boom and the hostilities in Ukraine. Here at Minoli we regard ourselves as being very fortunate to have such a loyal and diverse mix of customers, distribution partners and suppliers and, as a fiercely independent business and even at our scale, we’re able to be agile, seize opportunities and roll with the punches.
Overall, we’ve had a successful year and have invested in the things that make a real difference and add value for our customers – our team, delivery fleet, showrooms, stockholding and outstanding product ranges – to name but a few.
In short, despite the challenges, we’ve kept focused on what we do best:
‘Helping our clients get the job done, with a level of service that’s second to none!’