F&D is already a benchmark in Spain as a manufacturer of resin shower trays
The beginnings of F&D Shower Trays date back to 2011 as a company commercialising bathroom products. Even then, the managers of the company realised that resin shower trays were more and more in demand although, at that time, not many companies manufactured them, which made it difficult to meet the demand that was starting to be generated. It was the continuous supply problems on the part of the manufacturers that finally led to the creation of the first factory for resin shower trays. Since then, their evolution has been unstoppable, as Manuel Pérez Guixot, the CEO of the company, explained to us
Since when has F&D been present in Spain and how has it evolved in our country?
F&D began operations at the end of 2012 although, in fact, it was at the start of 2013 when it was really launched in the Spanish market, with the help of our subsidiary, Akire Style, S.L. Our experience as a company in the bathroom sector meant that this new product could be launched rapidly, not only through our regular clients, but we also started to manufacture own labels for large distribution chains throughout Spain. Over the last five years, our growth within the Spanish market has been constant, making it possible to commercialise more then 100,000 shower trays a year currently, and we are present across the whole of Spain.
How would you define the company’s current situation?
As things stand, F&D has managed to become a benchmark in Spain as a manufacturer of resin shower trays. At the moment, our group is growing at a very good rate and our internationalisation strategy has led to us achieving a presence in more than 15 countries.
What are the differentiating characteristics of F&D with respect to its competitors?
Our business strategy for the coming years is based on three fundamental factors: quality, service and innovation. Quality that translates into our shower trays being manufactured with unique raw materials and a production technology that does not cause any type of problems either in handling or transport – due to their resistance to both bumps and scratches- or, above all, in their cleaning, since our trays can be cleaned with most household cleaning products.
Service is key these days; in fact, a significant percentage of our daily sales is down to the immediate service we are able to provide, which is due to a permanent stock of between 8,000 to 10,000.
At the moment, we have two production centres which produce around 12,000 trays a month and, for the current year 2019, we are planning to open a new production facility with more than 14,000m2 covered area, with which forecast production for the end of this year, will be around 18,000 trays per month.
Finally, the F&D group has an R+D department that allows us to innovate on a daily basis and this allows us to offer totally different characteristics than other manufacturers. Thus, for example, we have managed to make our trays weigh 40% less than other manufacturers without reducing the quality of the tray in any way; and our R+D department has created a production system for the finish so that it gives the trays greater resistance and stops them from getting scratched easily. Finally, we are planning to launch the new Dekor range with all the innovations planned for this great collection at the next Cevisama fair in 2019.
What are the most outstanding features of your offer?
Our product offering has been growing over all this time with new models of trays, Solid Surface countertops, free-standing bathtubs and shower panels. And, for this year, Manuel Pérez Guixot, F&D CEO:
«F&D is already a benchmark in Spain as a manufacturer of resin shower trays»
In 2019, we are planning to broaden the product family so that our client feels well identified with our brand and we continue growing together.
In light of all of the above, it is worth noting that we are planning to make a great effort in our clients’ stores when it comes to presenting and personalising all our products.
How would you define the current situation of the bathroom sector in general and, in particular, shower trays and countertops?
In the bathroom sector, above all in renovations, significant growth has been seen over the last two years. With respect to the sector in which we operate, at the moment, we are in what is called a ‘red ocean’ – characterised by strong price competition -, since new manufacturers have entered the shower tray world, which is prioritising price over quality, and, for this reason, problems are being generated that seriously damage manufacturers like us who aim to maximise production quality. We seriously believe that the authorities should regulate this sector – to which no specific regulations are applicable – and quality inspections should be implemented so that the seals awarded by means of specific trials can be maintained since, if not, the certificate awarded to a product serves for nothing if the same is not manufactured in the same way.
What are the future trends for the sector?
We believe that new technologies are going to be increasingly introduced into the world of the bathroom and, even for a product like a shower tray, we can see advances in the short term. We should be prepared for a change in the way we interact with our environment over the next few years, since future generations will have a completely different way of doing things and so we should keep an eye on these changes to be always able to offer the most intelligent solutions.