Representatives of the 26 member companies that make up the UKbased
buying consortium of National Leisure gathered in Amsterdam
recently accompanied by Pool and Spa Scene editor, Christina Connor.
The group visited the premises of Interhiva and Starline in Holland and Belgium to find out more about the products National Leisure already stocks and to learn about many new products they could potentially add to their 2012 offering.
The tour party, including National Leisure coordinator, Angela
Bowers, was welcomed on their visit to the Interhiva headquarters by
Bart Bosman, Export Director and Francoise van Santen, Sales Office
”Interhiva subtitles itself as ‘the leisure people’ positioning itself
as a company that chooses to build business partnerships rather
than adding customers,” Bart told the group before giving a little
background on the history of the company, its journey over nearly
four decades of business and its current product portfolio.
Founded in 1975 as end-user retailers, Interhiva has developed into
a £15m annual turnover business which is a multi-faceted supplier
both to the trade, end-users, leisure providers such as holiday parks
and health clubs as well as to multi-chain stores throughout Benelux.
The company currently has active clients in more than 18 countries
including the Middle East.
Interhiva’s impressive headquarters at Baarnveld includes 75m2
of showroom on two floors, 500m2 of offices with 4000m2 of
warehousing. The company rents additional warehousing as required
in the peak season.
Offering a diverse product range of pool and spa accessories from
heat pumps to splasher pools, the company’s flagship lines include
Maax Spas, saunas , solar showers and swimming pools as well as
its own-label brand of chemicals.
The National Leisure group moved on to Starline where they were
greeted by hosts, Erwin Kusters, Export Manager and Darren Brown,
UK Sales Manager.
Erwin said he hoped the visit would help strengthen links between
the two companies and give National Leisure companies an insight
into the company and the products available under the Starline flag.
In fact, Starline and its associated company, Poolquip, were founded
in the Seventies.
system, available in the UK through Certikin, was first developed in
1973 and has become a market leader in many countries.
The company branched into one piece pools in the mid Nineties,
at first acting as distributors but, unhappy with the quality of
the product available, gone on to develop their own moulds and
Today, the concept of the one-piece Monoblock together with
integrated Roldeck with safety and standing ledge has been
fundamental to the on-going success of Starline.
As well as the Monoblock and Roldeck, Starline supply modular pools,
filters for residential and commercial markets, ozonators; ionisers and ph
dosing pumps – all self-developed and self-produced. The company is
also an official distributor for Sundance and Jacuzzi products.
Starline undertakes a continuous programme of investment both
in products and facilities. In 2009 they moved into a new fibreglass
production factory that incorporates robotic production methods
– believed to be the most modern fibreglass manufacturing factory
in Europe. The wraps are due to come off a further 5,000m2 of
manufacturing space in 2012.
The company has also invested in a 5,000m2 information centre
where the company sees its B2B customers but also consumers from
Belgium and Holland who then must buy product via their trade
Erwin said: “The goal is to have all production and logistics form
one single location leading to shorter lead times.
“Our company is customer-orientated; we supply top quality
products, we have strong brand name, all backed by excellent service.
On behalf of National Leisure Angela said: “These types of trips are
vital as we constantly strive to build knowledge of products and links
with our key suppliers – which has got to be a win, win situation.
“Much more than that, these opportunities give us a priceless platform
for networking of our member companies who share problems and
solutions; views and reviews – it really is a unique self-support forum.”
Following the National Leisure philosophy of work, rest and play,
the tour also took in a number of social events. The group enjoyed
trips to several museums in central Amsterdam as well as notorious
other highlights in the Dutch capital.
For many one of the highlights was an entertaining river boat
dinner cruise around the Amsterdam water ways only capped by a
memorable tour and dinner at the football stadium of PSV Eindhoven.
National Leisure is looking to expand its network in strategic
geographic areas. If you are want to find out more about the group
and its many advantages – then they call Angela Bowers for more
Tel. +44 (0)1305 824610