This year Palace Chemicals celebrates 45 years in business. This independent company based in Speke, Liverpool, has grown to be a standard-bearer for British manufacturing, with a core focus on the tiling industry. Here, the company reflects on this anniversary and discusses its plans for the future.
“Palace Chemicals has a broader product range than any of its UK competitors, is a leader in sustainable manufacturing, is a supplier trusted by many, has one of the most flexible manufacturing facilities in the industry and has a reputation second to none for customer service and consistent availability. 45 years of trading has made for an experienced, knowledgeable, proven and robust business – one could say they are in their prime!” the company says.
“And these bold claims are what 45 years in business looks like to Palace Chemicals, as the company embarks on the next chapter in its history with an exciting brand refresh, which will be rolled out over the coming months. The new look reflects the gravitas one would expect, confidently and concisely reflecting the company’s strong, durable, leading position in the tiling, flooring and DIY markets.
“Palace Chemicals is marking this anniversary with a new look for its packaging and its market presentation. It is refreshing and rejuvenating its image to reflect its position of market strength – a modern and confident innovator, which is all about making business more profitable for its customers and making life easier for consumers.
“The company’s heritage is important, but this anniversary is not about the company or its directors resting on their laurels and looking back misty-eyed over the past four-and-a-half decades. On the contrary, the 45-year milestone is about understanding where Palace is now and reflecting on what has gone before and the achievements that have made Palace Chemicals one of the industry’s most successful players today.
“The fact that a number of staff have loyally stayed with the company for several decades is both an important factor in the success of the business and also a reflection of the supportive and dynamic type of company that Palace is to work for. Consistent feedback shows that customers value dealing with the same Palace representatives over a period of time, and the company believes that personal relationships are the bedrock of its relationships within the industry.
“Established in 1978, Palace Chemicals has grown to be one of the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of tile adhesives, grouts, building chemicals, wood treatments and decorating sundries. It has achieved this as a forward-looking company which has grown consistently both organically and by acquisition. Acquisitions over the years have included Langlow Products, Houseplan and most recently a number of brands which formerly belonged to Norcros Adhesives.
“Palace was the first company in the sector to be awarded BS5750 (later upgraded to ISO9001), it became an ISO 14001 manufacturer in 2004 for its Environmental Management System and was accredited by the BSI for its BS OHSAS 18001 Health & Safety Management System in 2014, which was then updated to ISO 45001 in 2018. The company’s manufacturing capacity has continually grown, both in terms of scale, capability and reliability; it now occupies a number of separate units at its head office site in Speke, Liverpool.
“Palace as a company has demonstrated resilience and ‘true grit’. In 2000, the company suffered a major fire, which destroyed much of its production capacity. Undaunted, the business was back up and running promptly and the management took the opportunity to replace the damaged manufacturing lines with new state-of-the-art computer-controlled equipment. This investment puts Palace today right out in front when it comes to flexibility of manufacturing.
“Further investment means there is zero waste to landfill produced during Palace Chemicals’ operating processes. Production is integrated with a closed-loop dust extraction and recycling system which ensures all airborne dust emissions are contained and collected within a network of extraction ducting around all powder manufacturing and packing processes on site.
“Sustainable production is one of our most important achievements,” says technical director, Jim Percival, “and our current system represents a huge step forward compared with previously available technologies. “It is a unique example of how investment in sustainable technology can have tangible and long-lasting benefits”.
“Such steps demonstrate Palace’s ethos to business and how it conducts itself in its marketplace. The company’s reputation as a reliable, trusted and honest trading partner is an important one, which has been built over its 45 years,” it continues.
“It’s where we pitch ourselves in the market,” says commercial director, Steve Ball. “We are a proud British manufacturer of high quality products, manufactured sustainably and delivered with a market-leading customer service offer.”
The company concludes: “The expression ‘one stop shop’ is probably more appropriate for Palace than for virtually any other company in the adhesives industry. Having started originally as a manufacturer of damp proofing and timber treatment products, the company now boasts some 250 different formulations in its product portfolio. All of these are overseen by a loyal and established technical team, operating from two well-equipped laboratories, covering research & development and quality control respectively.
“Although Palace products are distributed via a wide range of different channels, the tiling market remains the company’s core business. Offering the full scope of EN12004 classified tile adhesives through to specification products with highly technical formulations, and from levellers to cleaning products, the Palace Chemicals one-stop shop really does meet all its customers’ tiling needs. 45 years in the making has made Palace the experienced, knowledgeable, proven and trusted business it is today.”