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: Q3 2019

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

Held back by the uncertainty overhanging Brexit, overall performance in quarter three has been flat. However, there were significant differences between product performances within the category.

The continuing success of porcelain is starting to impact on sales of natural stone. With pressure to reduce prices, some suppliers are compromising the specification of stone project packs. But thinner slabs (some are pared down to 18mm) can lead to through-bed staining, and smaller slab sizes lead to patios taking longer to piece together and using more jointing compound. Ultimately, such compromises mean quality will suffer.

Shipping rates are still fairly flat and interest rates are still favourable, so some suppliers are taking the opportunity to buy in cheaper porcelains from India and Poland. This could ultimately be a decision their customers regret.
Sales of natural stone for patios are also being affected by the increasing popularity of composite decking. Specifications of ceramics are also under pressure as cheaper and inferior alternatives to Italian products are being used in some areas.

For a very different product story, the demand for quality artificial grass is still rising. Homeowners seem happy to pay for higher quality and the product has become part of every professional landscaper’s portfolio. For homeowners, not having to give up their own valuable time to mow their lawn or pay to bring in someone else to do it is a big benefit.

More merchants want to display landscaping materials – particularly attractive porcelain – and get the right product training. Both are important as the pressure from online landscaping websites is growing by offering direct delivery. But, homeowners want to look and touch quality products, and ask the questions that help them decide.

Performance over the next 3-6 months is very weather dependent, but this is the sector’s traditional pattern, and merchants will be destocking and planning new lines for next year.

In this flat and difficult climate, we’re proud to say that Talasey has had a year of growth, and we look forward to our new products and a new brochure helping customers grow in 2020.

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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