Ceramic tile manufacturer sees 'bounce back' after lockdown measures ease

A ceramic tile manufacturer and supplier hopes to take advantage of more people wanting to carry out home improvements now lockdown measures have eased.

Craven Dunnill, which has sites in Bridgnorth and Jackfield, has already seen demand for its services grow as customers are keen to spruce up their homes.

Simon Howells, managing director of the company, said: "We have certainly seen a bounce back, which is pleasing to see from a business perspective and personal perspective.

"We want to support people in the best way possible to allow them to continue building work and projects.

"So far things have been very positive as customers seem keen to carry out home improvements and start to get a feel of normality, but in a safe and secure way.

"We have had appointments from all across Shropshire as well as much further afield."

Like other businesses, the company has had to introduce Covid-safe measures following government guidelines.

"We have adapted our retail showroom to offer our customers safe ways to shop, to suit them," Mr Howells said.

"We are offering customers the opportunity to either book a one-hour appointment – during which they have exclusive access to our complete collection of tiles – to book a one-to-one phone or video consultation with one of our experts, or to drop in at their own convenience during our ‘open access’ hours.

"We have got a one-way flow system in place, perspex screen, encouraging card transactions, sanistiser station at the entrance point, gloves to allow customers to touch tiles, signage and floor markings.

"Our goal is to be adaptable as possible, to suit different customers’ needs and shielding requirements, while protecting our staff, our customers, and local community at all times."

The company, which has its distribution unit and retail showroom in Bridgnorth and manufacturing unit in Jackfield, is due to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2022.

"We have been a Shropshire-based business, manufacturing and supplying ceramic tiles, since 1872. It's not the first crisis we have encountered, but perhaps the most unique in its terms of its speed of impact on business and we are doing everything we can to adapt and evolve to the new environment," Mr Howells said.

Looking ahead, Mr Howells remains optimistic about the future.

"I am an optimistic person. It's been a tough few months but I firmly believe there is a demand for home improvements as people refocus their spending away from travel and dining out.

"I believe from every crisis comes something positive," he added.

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