In this issue of Business and Industry Today, we are delighted to announce Walter Geering as our Hospitality Toiletry Company of the Month.
The UK Hospitality industry went through a challenging time during the COVID-pandemic, with many businesses forced to close for good or quickly diversifying to stay afloat.
Walter Geering is a leading supplier of luxury toiletries, welcome packs, bedding, linen and towels and electrical items to the hospitality industry. Based in Ashford, Kent, the family-run business managed to weather the COVID-storm, with quick-thinking ingenuity, as Jessica Marson, Head of Sales and Marketing explains, “Our company was established in 1903 by Walter Geering, who borrowed £20 from the bank to start a printing press. He was a true visionary, and during a world expedition, noticed that high-end hotels might benefit from personalised branding on shoe shining equipment.”
“Our New Managing Director, Simon Wright joined us from the hospitality industry in 2019 and Lockdown actually gave him the perfect once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immense himself in our company’s vision.”
“Once the Staycation boom took off, we quickly saw a business opportunity in the alternative accommodation provision.”
Walter Geering has always supplied to Hotels across the UK and Universities, looking for toiletry supplies for summer holiday conference guests. COVID suddenly opened up huge demand for holiday parks, Airbnb and holiday-home owners. Many accommodation providers allowed guests to bring dogs for the first time and the savvy-Ashford-based company came up with some innovative, business ideas: pet packs with a collapsible dog bowl, ball and waste bags with a wheat straw dispenser, kitchen and bathroom packs for self-catering, and birthday and games night packs.
The innovative packs have been a huge hit across the accommodation industry and as Jessica remarks, have rivalled the original toiletries business, “Toiletries were always our bread n’ butter but the welcome packs have grown considerably in popularity. We’re all familiar with the ‘Super Host’ rating on Airbnb sites – these are all driven by customer reviews and one thing that customers love is a nice, thoughtful welcome pack.”
The kitchen packs include biodegradable dustbin liners, oxo biodegradable washing-up liquid and sponges, perfect for self-catering outlets and often the things that holidaymakers are most likely to forget. It’s the ‘little, extra touches’ that customers remember.
The Staycation looks like it’s here to stay, according to UK financial service company MoneyTransfers.com, with a whooping 72% of Brits choosing to holiday in the UK this year, despite the relaxing of post-COVID global travel restrictions and this means more demand for toiletry supplies.
“We don’t just supply regular miniature-bottled shampoo or shower gel to hotels or holiday parks. We are driving sustainable choices. Our Era collection contains toiletries packed in an oxo-biodegradable zip bag and the 35ml flip top tubes are also oxo-biodegradable. We use innovative d2w technology in our manufacturing process, which is biodegradable, even in open environments.”
“We also use prevented ocean plastic: certified recycled plastic material collected from UK coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution degradation.”
This leading toiletry and welcome pack supplier has continued to diversify over its impressive 120-year history and is looking forward to new ventures, “We will of course, keep pushing boundaries on sustainable bottles and packaging. In the short-term, we are streamlining our website into sub-accommodation divisions for easier online navigation. In the long-term, we may consider branching out into supplying across European countries,” concludes Jessica.
See Walter Geering at The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation: NEC 15th-16th November 2023.
For more information on the whole product range, please see the website below:
T 01233 658085