Significant structural changes are occurring in the world, including the decline in oil and other commodity prices, rapid growth in the United States, and a significant slowdown in demand in China and many emerging markets. The European Union is going through a period of partial and fragile stability. However, there are structural changes that can have a much more significant impact on the natural stone industry. Manufacturers have lost a significant amount of bargaining power against distributors in terms of payment terms and even the precise definition of quality. This has made it even more challenging for the sector to generate profits.
Technology against naturalness is the second issue. Technological innovations have led to the development of highly advanced versions of quartz and ceramic materials that can now directly compete with natural stone, as well as the emergence of new large-scale porcelain ceramics that mimic natural stone. These products imitating natural stone have become preferred in applications where natural stone was previously automatically used. Additionally, while the natural stone industry remains entrenched in outdated marketing methods, the emergence of new digital media as a marketing tool is being effectively utilized by competitors. The challenge is evident, and the survival of the natural stone industry is at risk. Technological innovations and new marketing approaches will continue to exist, and it will take a long time to regain customers who prefer natural stone by rejecting artificial alternatives, making it difficult for many small and fragmented natural stone companies to survive.
Our interview with Mr. Eyüp Yıldız, the Production Manager of Çiftyıldız Marble Group, was featured in Gözlem Gazetesi during the İzmir Marble Fair 2016, held from March 23 to 26.
Çiftyıldız Marble received top marks from visitors with its impressive booth.
As one of Turkey’s leading natural stone producers, Çiftyıldız Marble introduced Turkish stones to prestigious projects in 40 countries worldwide. The company’s eye-catching booth became a favorite among visitors at the fair. Eyüp Yıldız, the Production Manager of Çiftyıldız Marble Group, mentioned that they primarily work with the American, Australian, and European markets. He also noted that they have quarries in Macedonia, in addition to their presence in Afyonkarahisar, Bilecik, and Bursa regions in Turkey. Yıldız mentioned that they currently offer 14 different colors, all of which are processed in their own facilities. He stated, “We are a company that supplies products for major projects in Turkey and worldwide. We provide products from Ecuador to Guinea.”
Çiftyıldız Group Board Member, Eyüp Yıldız, said, “We have also taken into consideration the processing of block marbles in Macedonia in the coming months.”
Macedonian marble showcased for the first time at Marble Fair
At the 17th International Natural Stone and Technologies Fair organized by İZFAŞ, not only samples of domestic natural stones but also stones extracted from Turkish natural stone producers’ quarries abroad are being exhibited for the first time. Çift Yıldız Group, which opened a marble quarry in Macedonia, presented the white marble variety Bianco Sivec for the first time at Marble Fair. Eyüp Yıldız, Board Member of Çift Yıldız Group, said that they discovered two main stones, Bianco Sivec and Red Spider, in their preliminary research in Macedonia last year. Yıldız stated that they have been closely following the industry’s pulse for these stones eagerly awaited by customers at the Xiamen Fair in China, and said, “We saw that there was a great deal of interest. We prepared our stones to be exhibited as blocks and slabs for the first time at MARBLE Fair and presented them to the visitors. Mining is one of the most important sources of income in Macedonia, and one of the most important ones among them is the white marble Bianco Sivec.”
First Turkish marble investment in the region
Yıldız mentioned that they have found two main stones, Bianco Sivec and Red Spider, in the quarry they currently operate in Macedonia, and said, “As Çift Yıldız, due to our group being one of Turkey’s leading producers, especially in white marbles, we started our research upon the invitation we received from the Macedonian government in 2007. Our technical and professional research team affiliated with our group visited the region multiple times. After 3-4 months of research, we decided to make an investment in the region. After 2 years of work, the licensing process was completed. We are currently working intensively in two locations. We want to maintain our stability in our international operations as well,” he said. Yıldız emphasized that they are proud to be the first Turkish marble investor in the region and added, “In the coming months, we have also included the processing of block marbles in our agenda.”
At the 14th Eurasian Economic Summit held from April 13th to 15th, with the participation of three Presidents, President George Ivanov of Macedonia congratulated and wished success to Ali Osman Yıldız, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Çiftyıldız Grup, for our investments in Macedonia. Ali Osman Yıldız, who attended the summit as a guest of Invest Macedonia Group, stated that our investments will gain significant momentum by the end of the year and emphasized the contributions they will make to both bilateral relations between the two countries and the local community.
At the 17th International Marble Natural Stone and Technologies Fair organized by IZFAS, not only the finest examples of domestic natural stones but also stones extracted from Turkish natural stone quarries abroad are being exhibited for the first time. Çiftyıldız Grup introduced a world-renowned white marble variety called Bianco Sivec for the first time at Mable 2011, which was well-received by the industry. Eyüp Yıldız, a Board Member of Çiftyıldız Grup, mentioned that they have discovered two main stones, Bianco Sivec and Red Spider, in their quarries in Macedonia since they started preliminary research last year. Yıldız added that they conducted research in the region following an invitation from the Macedonian government in 2007 and exhibited Bianco Sivec and Red Spider for the first time at Marble.