Italy-based Panariagroup has transferred management of North American sales of two of its flagship brands—Cotto d’Este and Kerlite—to its U.S. subsidiary Florida Tile.

“In order to continue to increase the value of the Cotto d’Este and Kerlite brands in North America, the business needs to be supported differently, with local inventory, people and promotions,” said Paolo Mussini, founder and managing director of Panariagroup’s Cotto d’Este.

Cotto d’Este is known as having established a new and unique luxury porcelain tile segment in 1993 and yet another segment in 2004 when the company introduced Kerlite, a light yet durable, large-panel sized tile for floors, walls, counters, tabletops and contemporary furniture.

“In order to seize new opportunities and to compete at the highest level, I needed to make changes in the way we were distributing our product,” said Mussini. “Today, customers need more than just a superior product. They need a closer inventory, more present and specialized marketing support and skilled sales and technical support they can rely on.”

According to Mussini, Cotto d’Este and Kerlite will not become part of the Florida Tile catalogue. “We are creating a separate distribution network and seeking the best partners regardless of whether or not it is a Florida Tile branch outlet or distributor,” he said.

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