Italian Design, German Engineering or British Innovation …… which is most important?
Posted on 27th July 2011
For us here at Sliding Wardrobe World the answer to this is simple, its vital that you have all three when manufacturing high quality sliding wardrobe doors, as well as the best in British Design, Engineering and Manufacturing.
The foundation of this business and the product we use and supply was born out of the Acmetrack Sliding Wardrobe Door Company, founded in the UK over 30 years ago. Using imported hardware from Canada. The business was formed, and grew rapidly enough to be bought by the $5 billion Global Leader in hand tools ‘Stanley’. Although Stanley are predominantly know for hand tools, they also owned a billion US$ global division trading in doors and architectural hardware. They bought Acmetrack, and created the Stanley Sliding Wardrobe Door brand, which went on to dominate the UK and European markets for 20 years. This UK based business quickly started designing its own hardware systems, and moved into manufacturing its own components in the city of Sheffield. These products were eventually exported back to Canada, the US and all parts of Europe. Stanley Sliding Wardrobe Door hardware is still know today in both developed and developing economies as the hardware of choice, with 150 years of Stanley history behind it.
That UK business went on to develop into a full blown furniture designer and manufacturer, keeping its roots in good quality hardware, but also moving into the European trends of bedroom furniture. After designing and patenting the first aluminium stanchion interior system in the UK in 2003, the Stanley Sliding Door business set its sights on exporting across Europe, the US and most importantly to the home of interior deisgn, Italy. The range of doors and interiors sold well enough for this company to set up its own warehouse, sales, marketing and design function in Milan, Italy. Its this Italian foundation that still influences our designs today, although lets not forget that the UK is the second home of Italian design, with it being one of its biggest export markets. A great example is that there are more Ferrari’s sold in the UK than in Italy.
As for German engineering, the sliding wardrobe door giants Raumplus and Cabinet (and also Dutch masters Noteborn) actually started their businesses using Stanley Hardware. We still use components from Stanley and Germany when they are the best available. For instance, instead of designing our own soft close system, we opted to use a superb system developed and patented by Cristian Lengersdorf of Germany.
Eventually the Stanley (now Stanley Black and Decker) business decided to divest of its door and sliding door businesses, but, the history still lives on in the good hands of Home Decor Innovations and Sliding Wardrobe World, and the key to our design philosophy remains simple; good design is good design, no matter where it comes from, and that’s all we will accept for our sliding wardrobe door systems.