Sun.Star Cebu <> Thursday, July 9, 2009
BY NANCY R. CUDIS, Sun.Star Staff Reporter
RESPONDING to customers’ clamor for housing solutions, Cebu Oversea Hardware Co. Inc. inked a pact with Malaysia-based tile manufacturing company White Horse Malaysia last week to distribute the latter’s products in the Philippines.
“The demand for tiles in the local market will always be there because houses are being built. It is just a matter of buying the cheapest, the mid-range or the expensive one. The purpose of distributing White Horse is to offer the public European quality products at affordable prices,” said Michael Co, chief executive officer of Cebu Home and Builders Centre.
Cebu Oversea Hardware owns and operates Cebu Home and Builders Centre, a one-stop shop of building materials. It also owns and manages other furnishing and finishing stores, including Expo Tile and Bath and Home Improvement Center, Living ‘n Style, The Home Depot, and Better Living Tile and Bath Center.
Cebu Oversea Hardware will be the sole Philippine distributor of White Horse Malaysia tiles.
Cebu Home and Builders Centre general manager James Co added that the company is also trying to create a demand for White Horse tiles among home builders and
home- owners by providing virtual solutions.
In collaboration with Cebu Oversea Hardware, White Horse is setting up a “virtual showroom” showcasing panels of tile samples and the “Just Click” computer software that will allow customers to see different design concepts of tile samples.
The virtual showroom, equipped with a design program called “I-Designer,” will also enable customers to design their rooms on the computer and have them printed out on the spot.
Lawrence Lim, White Horse Malaysia regional manager for overseas branches, said the exclusive value-added service is available at no extra cost to the customer.
This virtual showroom will be set up at The Home Depot outlets in Metro Manila and at the Expo Tile and Bath and Home Improvement Center in Parkmall, Mandaue City.
White Horse products will also be available in these stores and other stores under Cebu Oversea Hardware. They will be distributed to key cities in the Visayas and Mindanao.
White Horse plants in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Vietnam produce a combined 60 million square meters of tiles per annum.
It plans to put up a new manufacturing plant in the Asia-Pacific to meet the growing demand for tiles. The Philippines, with its growing population and high preference for quality products, is being considered as a potential site for White Horse’s manufacturing operations.