Malcolm Gough, Group Sales & Marketing Director Talasey Group is BMBI’s Expert for Natural Stone Landscaping Products, Vitrified Paving & Artificial Grass.
Quarter three saw very good weather, with high summer temperatures over a prolonged period. It was ideal for landscaping demand and provided ideal conditions for installation and that was reflected in landscaping sales.
Throughout 2018, porcelain paving has been a real success story, the product hero of the year. It’s the clear customer choice for patios with a wide range of colours available that allow greater design flexibility.
Merchants continue to expand their porcelain ranges. Demand is such, for example, that Talasey has added 41 new porcelain lines to provide the market with even more choice.
Sales of artificial grass are strong too, benefiting again from the good weather and strong demand. Artificial grass is a product like no other for today’s time poor homeowners. The best grass is realistic to look at, comfortable underfoot, child and pet-friendly, and really transforms the appearance of the garden and surrounds for very low maintenance. No surprise then that demand is growing fast, but we urge merchants to add these product lines to the choices available on their websites. With some suppliers selling directly online to installers, these could be missed opportunities for merchants.
Slate sales continue to be constrained by supply difficulties. The product has been hard to get hold of this year as Chinese imports have dried up almost everywhere.
Resin driveways are still growing strongly in popularity. As an indication of the strength of this demand, our recently opened Talasey Training Academy has now trained more than 100 contractors to help more of the industry benefit from this growing opportunity.
At this time of year, merchant branches are often working on their landscaping plans for 2019. Instead they find themselves still selling stone and other landscaping products for 2018 work. This can only be a positive sign of future market demand.