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Operations & Management



June 20, 2002 | Recommend this Article »

Natural stone market 2002: Opportunities and trends 

Where are the markets of the future for natural stone? Do hard stones or soft stones have better chances? What colors and finishes are preferred in 2002? A trend study: The future market for stones is there where natural stone’s combination of appearance, image, special technical properties and good processing possibilities is superior to other materials. Soft and hard stones already occupy certain product fields, and this will not change so quickly either. There is currently no special trend among the colors, in contrast to finishes, where a trend towards antique finishes can be determined for some years. The new, water-blasted finishes are also increasingly in demand. Especially private customers want to show their wealth less in public in future and long for a personal island of comfort and pleasure in their own four walls. There is a passion for detail features and individual solutions are popular. The stones of the coming years are hard stones as mass products, for buildings with a lot of coming and going and wherever low-cost building is necessary. Black-gray, white-gray and also colored granites are still the trend here. Do-it-yourself stores with their present distribution structure can, however, only serve a small niche of the market with cheap granites. Very cheap Chinese granites will capture a high share of the market in this segment in the future. Soft stones will certainly have their established market in the high-grade segment in future. Warm colors dominate here, mostly natural stones in Mediterranean, earth-colored tones. Interior finishing is a special area.


 


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