Niro Ceramic’s Creative Lab capitalising on rising demand for tiles

PETALING JAYA: Creative Lab by Niro Ceramic Group is capitalising on the growth of Malaysia’s construction industry, with increasing demand for ceramic tiles.

Creative Lab Sdn Bhd general manager (retail) Tay Ching Teck said that in 2022, the Malaysian construction industry experienced year-on-year growth of 10%.

“As a result, there has been increased demand for tiles, primarily driven by new construction projects and the expanding use of tiles in home renovation and replacement works,” he told SunBiz.

Tay remained optimistic despite concerns about the economic slowdown. He pointed out that while the market might not see many customers retiling their entire homes, there is significant interest in upgrading specific areas, such as bathrooms, to refresh and rejuvenate the living space.

While the first quarter of this year has seen a limited number of mega projects being awarded, Tay noted that there are several pending and ongoing projects impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic which are progressing despite the challenges.

“Currently, the overall outlook remains positive. The projects we are involved in were secured around years ago, and any potential impact from the current situation may be observed in the coming months.

“However, it is difficult to predict the exact outcomes as the situation continues to evolve. We are closely monitoring the developments and adapting accordingly to ensure the best possible outcomes for our projects,” he said.

Additionally, Tay disclosed that Creative Lab is planning to expand its retail presence in Malaysia, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak, where property development is booming. “The booming property development in that region presents a lucrative opportunity for our business.”

The company is exploring opportunities in the northern and southern regions as well, he added.

At present, Creative Lab has a network of 40 outlets across Malaysia with a significant concentration in the Klang Valley. It also has one outlet in Sabah and a newly revamped one in Kuching, Sarawak.

Creative Lab offers an experiential retail environment to help homeowners select high-quality tiles and sanitaryware for their renovations. Creative Lab’s target market primarily consists of homeowners (business-to-consumer segment), accounting for over 80% of customers, with the remaining 20% comprising contractors and interior designers (business-to-business segment).

To stand out, Creative Lab offers free interior design services.

“We aim to leverage technology to simplify and streamline the tile selection process for customers. One of our key services is the provision of free 3D design, using software that enables customers to visualise their desired designs from a 360-degree perspective.

“When customers visit our showrooms, they can choose their tiles alongside their layout plans. Our designers will then assist them in creating the desired design, typically taking less than 30 minutes to complete the rendering process. This enables customers to visualise the renovated area and make informed decisions about the tile selection process. If the chosen tiles are not satisfactory, customers can easily explore alternative options with just a few clicks,” said Tay.