With the announcement of this year’s Golden Bridge awards fast approaching, we’re providing a last look at the candidates before the awards ceremony in London next week. The awards recognise the achievements of companies making the successful leap from the UK to the Belgian market and from the Belgium and Luxembourg markets to the UK. Here we take a look at Belgian carpet manufacturers, CLASSIS, and what they had to say about there moves into the UK market during their application process.
Can you give us a bit of background as to where you company has come from? Why did you choose to join the UK market when you did?
Our first office and starting point was our home in Wilrijk/Belgium. From day one, our target has been the UK market and our company is established in Belgium primarily to address the needs of UK customers to fill the gap identified by our owners and only several years after establishment did the company start to expand to other export markets. Having studied in the UK, one of the founding brothers was aware of the market potential in the UK for carpet business. His textile engineering brother, on the other hand, developed a good technical understanding of carpet production while doing a summer practice at DOMO (carpet manufacturer in Belgium whose floorcovering business was later acquired by BALTA Group, Europe’s biggest Carpet Manufacturer) during his MBA Degree in Brussels. By combining their strengths, the two brothers decided to develop the first tuft & broadloom collection dedicated to the UK market. That’s how the journey started for CLASSIS in the UK market.
What are your future plans for business development in the UK
In summary: In addition to concrete and aggressive growth plans with existing customers with new innovative products, we also have detailed plans in place to access to New Customer Segments/markets via New Investments & Improved Service Offerings. So that we can reach other customers that we are not able to cover. Additionally, we are also developing new products for CONTRACT Market in addition to RESIDENTIAL Market that we are covering with our current product portfolio. With this approach, we aim to reach a more diversified customer base and a wider product portfolio.
Why are you applying for the Golden Bridge Awards, and why do you think you should win?
Such recognition would be the best ever reward & motivation that we can give to our staff and sales agents who have been consistently working very hard and hence significantly contributed for achieving this export business volume to the UK market, year after year. Our export business to the UK have been increasing every year since our foundation in 2003 and we believe there is still far more potential to grow. Together with such a prestigious award, we would actually have a very special argument to convince our potential customers to help us to achieve far more export volumes to the UK market while creating more employment opportunities in Belgium by extending the sales, marketing and warehouse facilities and increasing the utilization of established carpet manufacturers. Such an award would also stimulate our existing customers to give them further confidence that they are working with the right partner & supplier. This will provide our company a very precious competitive advantage that we will definitely need it to be able to achieve our aggressive growth targets.