'Local' key to Bay company's year of success despite pandemic

Workers inside a company showroom

Year of success for staff - Credit: Submitted

A Torbay company has battled through the pandemic to record a successful 12 months – with keeping things ‘local’ one of the main reasons. 

Over the past year, International Tiles and Bathrooms have welcomed a new member to the team, upgraded the bathroom showroom at their base on the Trojan industrial estate in Paignton, opened a new showroom in Wiltshire and acquired Collinson Tiles, a family-owned tile distribution business in Bristol with four new staff members. 

International Tiles has been supplying quality ceramic floor and wall tiles for over 40 years and has grown to be the largest importers and distributors in the South West. 

But always looking closer to home at the same time over those decades are as important to director Duncan Haddrell and his team as sales.  

Throughout the last year they have supported many initiatives including helping local sports clubs, providing much needed employment and helping national charities like Children in Need. 

Duncan said: “At its heart, International Tiles & Bathrooms is a small independent, but growing and ambitious business. We’re not a big corporate entity – we believe in local supporting local. We are helping local sports clubs by offering discounts to their members as well as cashbacks to the clubs themselves. 

“Our sales – both online and in-store – reflect the incredible way our team has raised to the unprecedented challenge of this pandemic. We couldn’t have done any of this without our fantastic team. We are extremely proud of how hard our employees have worked to overcome the many challenges we have faced, and still are”. 

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International Tiles has welcomed Charley Wardman from Torbay who joins the team in Paignton. The 27-year-old has experience in providing a brilliant service. She’s been working in outdoor education and is now looking forward to learning all about a new industry. 

She said: “I feel excited to have been given the opportunity to join and learn a brand-new industry and look forward to what the future may bring.” 

The new Wiltshire showroom is located in Melksham. 

Duncan says: “We are thrilled to expand into Wiltshire and chose the unit in the Bowerhill Industrial Estate because of its industry connections and easy access. 

“We were aware that there were local people who are experts in our industry who were immediately available. We couldn’t let their knowledge and expertise go to waste. When we found a very well positioned unit in Bowerhill we had great staff and the perfect site, so it was an easy decision.” 

Showroom manager Chris Robert-Shaw said: “I am so pleased to be the manager of this new store in Melksham and being able to offer such a great range of quality tiles to the local area.” 

The Paignton store is open for the trade and public to click and collect and the company are offering live video calls to allow viewing of the latest ranges. 

Duncan says: “We are adhering to strict Government guidelines at the moment and the safety of our team and customers are our priority.” 

When looking to expand distribution, International Tiles had to look no further than Collinson Tiles in Bristol, a small, niche family business which started in 1908. 

Duncan added: “The two companies make the perfect match.”