We recently sat down to chat with BCFA member Newmor’s International Sales Director, Morey Forest about new collections, international trends and sustainability.
Please could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Moray Forrest, I live on the south coast of England with my wife Paula and son William. I read Law at university and somehow fell into the wonderful world of interior products around 20 years ago. I support Liverpool FC.
Can you tell us about your role with Newmor Wallcoverings?
Fundamentally my role at Newmor is selling Newmor products to International distributors. By its very nature, international sales involves interacting with people from various different cultures and locations. For this reason, it’s important that one demonstrates sensitivity to other cultures, and the ability to create connections with people from any walk of life.
Never has the phrase ‘the world’s getting smaller’ been truer than it currently is. Globalisation, and various technological advances mean it’s just as easy to do business with someone in a different continent as it is with someone in the next town or city.
The goal is to meet relatively often with our distributors so a willingness to travel to visit customers for face-to-face meetings is a crucial part of the role. That said we are very conscious of our ‘foot print’ so I often skype or call for updates etc. A commitment to work unconventional hours to negotiate problems caused by differing time zones is also crucial.
How have Newmor’s most recent product launches been received on the international market?
Newmor has frequent product launches and the most recent were displayed and presented at Heimtextil in Frankfurt. We took a team of people for the exhibition and were bombarded by existing and potential customers clamouring to view and specify the freshly designed products. Heimtextil is always an exciting and important event and this year we believe has had some amazing results with interest from all over the globe.
What are the most exciting international trends which you have identified?
Newmor is very much a design driven company with, of course, fantastic product quality and impeccable service levels. We like to create new and useable designs based on global design trends which very often can be inspired by products outside our genre. We often look to the catwalk for colours and inspiration is sought from many alternative markets. Hotel design is becoming increasingly ambitious in scope and we are seeing Interior Designers creating vivacious new collective spaces and focusing on local design to impress guests and match their increasingly high expectations.
Hotel interior designers are currently and cleverly bringing the outdoors indoors with botanical themes being evermore popular. We work closely with Interior Designers from around the world to create standard and bespoke wallcoverings to ensure guests stay connected with the natural environment and enjoy the whole hotel experience.
What are the current challenges on the international market?
Without mention of the B word (Brexit) the challenges are, as luck would have it, generally few and far between. We work with established distribution companies in around eighty countries of the world and tend to hold our well regarded position in the market place by offering quality products and service. We believe the overseas distributors understand and appreciate that there is no substitute for excellence and the increasingly strict policies that hotel chains and indeed foreign governments implement plays into our hands as we strive to attain and well exceed any standard requirements or regulations.
If I could ask for a professional miracle it would be teleportation as travel time and time zones present the biggest challenge for David Johnston (MD) and myself.
How do Newmor minimise their environmental impact when selling internationally?
Newmor are keen to avoid arbitrary short term targets and focus on infinite responsibility. We have a Sustainability Officer who is working closely with our manufacturing plant to create a facility that seeks to be as environmentally sound as we feasibly can be and still produce quality durable merchandise. Our constant objective is to use energy more efficiently, conserve water, work with raw material suppliers who have sourced the provisions as sustainably as is conceivable. Our intention is to transport the goods as resourcefully as is workable. We follow the motto in our factory ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ This is serving us well!