'Majer' change in tiling on the way
MAJER Tiles, founded in Cairns 44 years ago, has been bought by the national Beaumont Tiles group.
Majer's two Cairns stores, including one trading as the Tile Depot, a warehouse and 10 staff will be retained under the new ownership.
Majer Tiles was established in 1967 in Cairns by Lou Majer and expanded to Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts and Townsville.
The Majers sold the business in 1989 and re-opened again in 1995.
Tony Majer, who has been appointed Beaumont's Queensland state manager, said the sale, for an undisclosed sum, was an opportunity to be part of a national company that was growing.
"It's a good opportunity for all of the staff," he said.
The company employs 43 staff across six stores and the two warehouses.
Majer Tiles will be rebranded Beaumont Tiles, while The Tile Depot in Anderson St will remain.
Beaumont Tiles chief operations officer Danny Casey said Beaumont Tiles at McCoombe St would also remain open, with five employees.
He said at this stage all stores would continue as usual while the company considered a long-term strategic plan.
The acquisition and re-branding gives Beaumont 25 outlets in Queensland.
Mr Casey said Majer was an already-healthy business that would be re-invigorated and taken to the next level.
"There were strong synergies between the companies and a similar ethos that grew out of being a family-owned businesses," he said.
"Tony is well known throughout the industry and brings a wealth of experience to Beaumont Tiles."
Beaumont Tiles managing director Bob Beaumont said while the commitment to service would stay the same, home and commercial customers would notice an expanded product range and lower prices due to the expanded group's buying power.
Beaumont Tiles turns over $150 million a year from more than 90 retail outlets around the country, of which half are company stores, with the remainder franchised.
The Majer Tiles purchase is its third major acquisition in a decade. The company has also made three smaller acquisitions of single store owners during that period.
Mr Majer said the sale was great news for the construction and renovation sectors in Queensland.
"The acquisition will be a catalyst for the opening of a new warehouse in Brisbane and a $2 million-plus investment in introducing best-of-breed IT systems," he said.
Mr Majer said the expanded group was well placed to take advantage of a Housing Industry Association report predicting a 7.4 per cent surge in Queensland kitchen and bathroom installations in new homes in 2012-13.
"The HIA says that while Queensland renovation spending fell by nearly 2 per cent in late 2011, we then entered a significant upswing," he said.
"The high costs of moving and cautious household spending have been driving owner-occupiers to invest in their existing properties and we've certainly been seeing that in our business."
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Tile takeover: The Beaumont Tiles group has purchased Majer Tiles, including the company's two Cairns stores and warehouse. Picture: STEWART MCLEAN