Belfast Telegraph

Diversification key to survival

Margaret Canning

The Deluxe Group in Portadown is one of many fit-out and joinery firms in Northern Ireland.

All have had to diversify and adapt to a challenging economic climate across Ireland, which has seen fewer new shops, offices, hotels and pubs being opened on either of the border.

MJM Fit-Out in Newry, Co Down, has spread its wings to work in the marine sector, including superyachts. It has refitted cabins, restaurants, bars, atriums, cinemas, passenger circulation spaces and crew areas.

Two years ago MJM won a £5m deal to fit out a restaurant for the celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London.

McCue Fit-Out in Carrickfergus has worked on for major retail clients such as Urban Outfitters and Hamleys, fitting out five floors for an overhaul of the toy giant's flagship shop in London.

It has also worked on fit-outs for hairdresser Peter Mark in Dublin, fast-food chain KFC in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin, coffee chain Starbucks in London and for designer clothing brand GANT in Edinburgh.

Responding to the Deluxe Group's recent success, Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said: "The impact of the downturn on local construction companies has been well documented and it remains vital for the sector to innovate if they are to maximise business opportunities."

Deluxe had proved that it was adaptable enough to thrive, Mr Hamilton said.

"Deluxe has fully embraced research and development and used it effectively to develop new manufacturing techniques and new products so it can compete in the high value luxury design and fit out market," he said.

"It is very positive to see how this has allowed Deluxe to diversify and seek out significant business opportunities in new markets, particularly Europe, and set a firm foundation for future growth."

Belfast Telegraph