Expert for Natural Stone Landscaping Products

Malcolm Gough

Group Sales & Marketing Director

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Malcolm Gough

Having worked in the building industry for over 35 years, Malcolm has a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the sector, and a wealth of industry experience.

Malcolm joined the building products trade as Tarmac’s youngest sales representative selling sand and gravel to builders merchants. He ran the commercial sales team at Marshalls plc before joining Saint-Gobain/Jewson/Greenworks for 8 years. Later he moved to Natural Paving (UK) Ltd, where he helped take it to become the leading natural stone brand in just 4 years.

In 2017, Malcolm led the creation of the Talasey Ltd corporate entity under which Natural Paving and all of its sub brands now sit.

Talasey Group is the UK’s leading independent supplier of landscaping solutions.

The Talasey Group brings together a diverse and high quality range of landscaping products, providing designers, landscape architects, installers and home owners with a one stop shop from which to create inspired outdoor living spaces. The collection is one of the UK’s largest ranges of landscaping materials, with options to suit all tastes, projects and budgets:

Natural Paving: The very best, ethically sourced and CE marked natural stone landscaping materials from across the world. The majority of the stone is Indian sandstone, which follows a careful journey they oversee from quarry to your garden. In addition, the range also offers Chinese quartz and Portuguese granite.
Vitripiazza: Vitrified porcelain paving is carefully sourced from Italy which is renowned for its superior quality vitrified porcelain.
Baksteen: A Dutch range of cosmopolitan handmade clay pavers and bricks.
Luxigraze: High quality artificial grass and extensive range of installation and cleaning accessories.
Pavetuf: Landscaping installation, maintenance and cleaning products.
Resiscape: A resin bound aggregate system with a complementary range of installation accessories.

Talasey Ltd is an active members of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI).

Talasey Group Comment: Q1 2020

Malcolm Gough, Group Sales & Marketing Director Talasey Group is BMBI’s Expert for Natural Stone Landscaping Products, Vitrified Paving & Artificial Grass.

Approaching Easter, we were set for our best year ever. We had a positive weather forecast, full stock levels and new product lines. Our new decking range had arrived from China. Then, at the peak of the season, COVID-19 struck, and the market was shut.

We continued to service a few customers and dealt with continuing demand for artificial grass, but in this ‘box-moving’ world it was a nightmare for China to lockdown first. The previous shortage of containers became even greater as they all backed up in China. We also had to land newly-arrived Indian sandstone, organise transport in a fraught market and get product to distribution centres.

Prices from China – in particular of decking – have started to rise due to a combination of exchange rates, shipping costs and raw material costs. Prices of Indian sandstone are also expected to rise as the lockdown in India halted manufacture, and this will possibly not be resolved before the monsoon season. Manufacture of the popular Italian porcelain has stopped, although there is no sign of pressure on prices.

Our customers are builders’ merchants. If they’re closed, we’re closed. Bigger construction sites are starting to reopen, and when builders and landscapers return to work everyone can. Most merchants are now fully opened, operating click and collect, or just delivery only.

Millions of homeowners have never spent so much time looking so long and so closely at their homes. The result is a surge of interest in improving them. If they can’t spend money on a holiday this year, they may spend it on their gardens. April’s traditional demand spike for all landscaping lines could be pushed back to August.

We’re still not out of the woods, and nowhere near the turnover we need to support large staff numbers. Our concern is what can external sales staff do without traditional branch sales visits. We need inventive ways to communicate with customers.

Sales counters have safety screens and they’re taking sales calls but, crucially, they’re not placing stock orders, they’re buying for orders only. The industry is slowly getting there, but until people get braver and buy in stock things won’t change.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.

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