Bellagio and Marble Ideas merger aims to beat the traffic

Mike Boydon and Rob Wilkinson from Bellagio, and Steve Buck from Marble Ideas
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Joining forces are (left to right) Mike Boydon and Rob Wilkinson from Bellagio, and Steve Buck from Marble Ideas.

Two well-established worktop companies, Rob Wilkinson’s Bellagio and Steve Buck’s Marble Ideas, are joining forces under the name of Bellagio Marble Ideas Ltd. 

The final arrangements for the the merger were due to be completed at the end on November.

The company will continue to operate from Bellagio’s factory in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, and Marble Idea’s factory in Langley, Berkshire.

The two companies have collaborated previously. Rob Wilkinson and Steve Buck met on visits to suppliers during which they discovered they have a lot in common. Rob says: “I have been trying to talk Steve into a merger for more than two years.”

It was the same spirit of co-operation that led to the formation of the Worktop Fabricators Federation (WFF), of which Bellagio, and now Bellagio Marble Ideas, is a member. Bellagio Directors Mike Boydon and Ben Prole are Directors of the WFF.

One of the benefits of Bellagio Marble Ideas working from two sites is that it makes fixing easier. Both companies have shared some territory but the further fixers have to go the harder it is to get there on Britain’s crowded road network that is often disrupted by roadworks and accidents.

As Rob Wilkinson says: “Travel is a massive issue and it’s going to get bigger and bigger.” And templaters and fixers don’t want to have to drive for two or three hours before they can start work.

The various regional restrictions during the Covid pandemic only emphasised the problems of getting around. In the future, the two companies say they could be looking for other companies to join them, perhaps beginning with someone covering Bristol and Exeter.

For now, having two depots also means they can help each other out with stock. “Some supplies are very sporadic at the moment,” says Steve. And being bigger should improve their buying power.

Both companies have seen their margins hit by price rises, largely as a result of the increased cost of transport. Anticipating prices would fall again, Bellagio and Marble Ideas had resisted putting their own prices up, but as transport costs, even fuel prices at the pumps, are showing no signs of falling again, they say they will have to raise prices next year to safeguard the business. “It’s the same with the merger,” says Rob. “It’s about safeguarding the business.

“What’s good about the merger is that we are both very stable businesses. Marble Ideas has been going 30 years next year and Bellagio has been going since 2006. Together we’re big enough to make it happen. We’re a size where no job will be too big for us.”

In the next issue of NSS we will take a closer look at the two companies and what the merger will mean to them.