Expert for Natural stone & porcelain paving

Krystal Williams

Managing Director

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Krystal Williams

Krystal has extensive commercial experience in the landscaping and building materials sector, working with leading brands of aggregates, stone and concrete paving since 2003. She joined Pavestone in 2017 and was promoted to Managing Director of the company’s landscaping division in 2019.

Krystal’s commercial acumen, vision of the future and strategic thinking has helped drive Pavestone’s growth and market leading position in a fast-paced sector.

Pavestone

Pavestone is a leading hard landscaping supplier of natural stone and man-made paving products, serving independent builders’ merchants across the UK.

For nearly 20 years, the privately owned business has been synonymous for elegant products, manufactured from the highest quality materials and to relevant British Quality Standards.

Its natural stone landscaping products originate from many countries around the world. The stone is ethically sourced from audited, long standing supply partners and to exact specifications.

Pavestone’s manufacturing facilities are located in Chipping Campden (Gloucestershire) and Burford (Oxfordshire), where it makes most of its made-made landscaping products using local Cotswold stone. The electricity used to power Pavestone’s production machinery, light, heat and general power is supplied from renewable resources that include wind turbines and hydro-electric schemes.

In addition to its own manufactured products, the company also supplies the finest and most innovative European landscaping products through commercial partnerships with world class concrete and porcelain manufacturers.

Visit: www.pavestone.co.uk

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/pavestone-uk-limited

Twitter: @Pavestone

Pavestone Comment: Q1 2022

It’s been a rocky start to 2022 for the paving industry, as the war in Ukraine is affecting both porcelain supplies and consumer demand.

At the end of last year, we encouraged merchants to keep stock on the ground. This strategy was a saving grace in helping merchants navigate temporary shortfalls in porcelain supplies in Q1 caused by the war.

In Italy, the huge spike in energy costs early on in the invasion led to factories closing for four weeks, as it wasn’t viable for them to open. The break gave our porcelain supplier the time to source alternative materials as most European porcelain incorporates Ukrainian clay, which is about five times cheaper than Italian clay. As a result, prices are going up.

We source our porcelain from different countries to mitigate local problems like those seen in Italy, but other suppliers also had problems meeting orders. One factory on the Poland/Ukraine border lost Ukrainian workers who returned to their country to fight, while in Spain, a hauliers’ strike put the brakes on getting product out of the country for five weeks at least.

The war is knocking consumer confidence, particularly on their intentions to spend on larger purchases such as home improvement projects. Good landscapers are largely booked up for 2022 and only losing a few jobs due to rising living costs. So, we expect to see more paving products being laid by DIYers and ‘furlough landscapers’ who are new to the industry, to save on labour costs. We have a complete library of ‘how to’ videos to support these customers.

Overall, Q1 paving sales are still up on pre-pandemic levels, but what happens in Q2 and beyond will hinge on a number of factors – none of which are in our control. If the situation in Ukraine improves, consumer confidence and spending will get a boost, while some better weather will also encourage people to get outdoors and tackle their gardens.

Our advice to merchants is to be prepared for the upswing. Keep stock levels healthy as customers don’t like to wait for the products they want. If you haven’t got what they want, they’ll take their business elsewhere.