Earlier this year, Shaw acquired Scotland-based Sanquhar Tile Services (STS), which supplies carpet, resilient, hardwood, tile, stone, laminate flooring products and synthetic turf to residential and commercial markets. This acquisition expands Shaw’s carpet tile footprint to meet the needs of its global customers—complementing the company’s carpet tile manufacturing facilities in Cartersville and Adairsville, Ga., and in Nantong, China.
STS, a long-established and important carpet tile manufacturer in the United Kingdom, will continue to serve its customers as part of Shaw’s commercial flooring division. STS’ established and experienced leadership team and associates will continue to operate the business—with manufacturing capabilities from tufting through cutting—as part of Shaw. Shaw, founded 50 years ago, and STS, which has been manufacturing carpet tile for 45 years, share cultures of innovation, service and long-tenured, experienced associates.
“This acquisition positions Shaw as a global carpet tile provider,” said Vance Bell, chairman and CEO of Shaw. “STS will be an important part of our commercial business, and we will make substantial capital investments to enhance and modernize their operations. We’re proud to count STS associates among the 22,000 individuals at Shaw who are working to create a better future for our customers, our communities, our company and each other.”
“Shaw’s continued investment in STS will ensure that we are poised to advance our position in the market and to provide our people with rewarding careers as we focus even more heavily on advanced manufacturing techniques that allow us to best meet current and future customer needs,” said Frank Williamson, managing director at STS.
Floor Trends recently spoke with Brenda Knowles, vice president of marketing and product development for Shaw’s commercial division, to learn more about the acquisition.
FT: What does this acquisition mean for Shaw’s commercial division?
Knowles: As we engage with our customers and clients at a higher level, and our clients and customers want us to continue to expand in global presence, this gave us an opportunity to participate at a higher level with customers in the U.K. market. STS is a great company, a solid company. They manufacturer high-quality products and they are well established in that market and the synergy of their culture with our culture here was a good fit.
FT: Can you give us a little background about what STS offers the U.K. market?
Knowles: In the U.K., their product offers a lot of variety with tufting. It will give us a broader reach into that market with that product and gives us an opportunity to provide value to the customers in that market with that product. Their distribution has been primarily U.K.-based for the most part, a little bit in Europe and outside of the U.K., so this partnership, becoming part of the Shaw organization, gives them the opportunity to expand their distribution for the brand they take to market and gives us the opportunity to participate at a higher level through our brands to that market as well. Much of our product line is a global product line. In Asia, we have developed product that is unique to that market, and with STS, we will be able to do that in Europe as well.
FT: What’s your outlook for the modular carpet category?
Knowles: The carpet tile market continues to grow. Modular products, from a flooring perspective, are easier to move about, they have great flexibility in design and installation, and we think that the market is continuing to grow and take share from broadloom across every market segment. Broadloom continues to grow in the hospitality market, but carpet tile is making a play in the hospitality market segment as well. Across market segments, our customers are looking for modular product. I can say that we expect to see continued growth across segments and globally.
FT: What is your outlook for Shaw Commercial in 2018?
Knowles: We are very optimistic in that market, certainly, and being able to meet the needs of customers there at a much higher level, but across all regions and segments. This complements what we have in terms of manufacturing and support and service from our manufacturing and distribution facilities in the U.S. We do provide product across the globe from our U.S. operations, and then we certainly have our operation in Nantong, China, which allows us to service the broader Asia market at a higher level where service becomes very important. It also allows us to add to our product platform that we have today. Construction remains strong and the architecture community that we’ve served is projecting growth in the market, both here in the U.S. and globally.