Christian Strootmann - Chief Executive Officer BHS tabletop AG

Christian Strootmann,
Chief Executive Officer

We don't sell porcelain.
We sell solutions to problems.

More than 200 million people dine out on our porcelain every day. In hotels and restaurants, just as in retirement homes, factory canteens and hospitals. We sell about 40 million pieces of tableware every year, making us the world's leading vendor of porcelain for all target groups in catering outside the home. We export our products to more than 100 countries every year.

In a crisis-torn market that is characterised by excess capacity worldwide and predatory pricing, how is it possible for a company to stick to its position as the world market leader for professional porcelain? To be quite frank, this cannot be done by using a classic USP. We set ourselves apart by means of an experienced comprehensive package. We distinguish ourselves from low-price competitors through an ingenious combination of the highest quality, professional advice, personal care as well as individualized products, long product availability, rapid delivery and flexible service. If the service personnel on the Aida club cruise ship sailing in the Gulf of Finland happen to break a consignment of fish course plates, BHS makes sure that new plates with the Aida logo on them will be ready and waiting for collection at the next port, Helsinki, within 48 hours. This implicit orientation towards service represents our advantage over the competition from Asia. Simple porcelain can also be bought at Ikea but not an individual, ready to use and long-lasting solution to the requirements of our target group.

And we offer these solutions to international luxury establishments such as Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai or Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, just as we do for ice cream parlours in Hamburg with 18 individually designed cups. We regard this balancing act between mass production and artisan production as one of our most appealing tasks.

What our customers have in common is the wish for tableware that will be able to withstand the hustle and bustle of canteen kitchens, at the same time as thrilling users with a great design. With an unusual language of design and intelligent dining concepts, our three brands have made BHS into a multi-award winning trendsetter for international, cultivated dining for decades.