HPP | Pearls of wisdom

Established 30 years ago and celebrating its Pearl trading anniversary, HPP is setting out succession plans to support retailers

17 May, 21

Established 30 years ago and celebrating its Pearl trading anniversary, HPP is setting out succession plans to support retailers

HPP | Pearls of wisdom

Brothers Martin and Stephen Hill established Hill’s Panel Products in Oldham in 1991


Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) is marking its 30th anniversary this year, which coincides with the KBB sector, wider economy and our national life emerging from the covid pandemic.

The company is proud of its history and growth but also keenly aware of the need to assist recovery and transition from the pandemic’s impact.

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Its plans for the year include new packages for showrooms and online innovation to help the sector, as well as succession planning to secure the future of the business with the appointment of new directors to the board

Setting out

Back in 1991 HPP began in a single industrial unit in Oldham measuring 11,000 sq ft unit.

Over three decades later, its head office site has grown to 11 units measuring over 250,000 sq ft. It now also has a second UK distribution centre in Sheffield and operates nationally.

Today, the business has over 2,000 trade customers and supplies over 7,000 products including its own brands of doors and cabinet components, full and processed sheet materials, vinyl wrapped furniture doors and furniture fittings.

The company is headed by brothers Martin and Stephen Hill and managing director Keith Wardrope.

Growth investment

The company has continued to grow as Wardrope reported in 2020, prior to the first national lockdown.

HPP | Pearls of wisdom 1

HPP started with an 11,000sqft in Oldham and has survived recessions and a global pandemic. Three decades later, its headquarters has grown to 11 units spanning 250,000sqft and it has a second distribution centre in Sheffield


Following a £3 million investment programme, distribution and manufacturing capacity had been expanded including a19,000 sq ft warehouse for worktops and a second production line for HPP’s doors, which include the Avanti, Aspects, Aspire and Glide ranges.

In addition, HPP had increased its value-added services through bespoke offers for customers and partnerships with other brands such as Egger, Kronospan and Blum.

Examples include a customer order service to turn sheet materials into doors and cut-to-specification orders for doors and panels with wide décor choice and optimised use of sheet materials, reducing waste.

HPP had also launched a new service offering pre-assembled Blum drawers which is being extended this year.

Overall, HPP wanted to increase its customer-centric focus across all activities. But when the first lockdown loomed, it also had to make plans for its own activities and closed both sites.

Lockdown measures

During the lockdown the company contacted customers with an email survey and asked if they needed particular help.

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HPP launched a service offering pre-assembled Blum drawers, last year as part of its aim to be customer-centic. It will extend this service in 2021


A click-and-collect service was offered to help smaller installers finish jobs they’d been working on, such as inside empty houses.

And later, HPP opened minimally to receive some large deliveries then eventually reopened manufacturing, despatch and office functions on a limited scale.

Once new safety measures were in place, a very small group of staff returned to work from mid-May 2020.

Wardrope says: “Sadly, we had to make some redundancies but these were fewer than feared. Some colleagues were subsequently re-employed, which is great.

“We adapted to the diverse impact of the pandemic and tried to respond positively to new challenges and opportunities.

“We are now fully operational and demand is quite strong. There are signs of growing confidence but different factors are at play.

“Across the economy, jobs have been lost and debt will have to be paid off, which will impact on consumer spending. However, many people are still at home and investing in property.”

Supporting showrooms

And this year, HPP has further plans for business launching product packages for showrooms and enhanced online resources.

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The company plans to offer showrooms free HPP kitchen and bedroom displays, with a contribution towards the fitting cost. It aims to include doors, worktops Blum hinges, HPP’s Blum readymade drawer boxes, handles, lighting, wirework and bins


Dan Mounsey, who recently became director of marketing and business development, explains: “We believe our retail showroom package will be a unique offer, due to us being the only company that can cover all these bases.

“We’re working on final details but aim to offer showrooms free HPP kitchen and bedroom displays and a contribution towards the fitting cost. Our plan is for packages to cover worktops, kitchen and bedroom doors, Blum hinges, HPP’s Blum readymade drawer boxes, door handles, lighting, wirework and bins.”

He continues: “We’ll also assist with point-of-sale aids, handle display boards, our Unique Choice kitchen and bedroom brochures, discounts on showroom accessories and the Easycab range, and access to marketing and merchandising aids.”

And its new online resources include an Egger Inspiration Centre on HPP’s website. Mounsey explains: “We are an Egger Diamond Distributor and have enjoyed a great relationship with Egger for many years.

“The Inspiration Centre brings together all Egger’s digital resources and tools in one location including enhanced 3D visuals which capture advanced décors.

“The new Egger Decorative Collection, door ranges with Egger decors and Egger worktops are highlighted too. Physical samples can also be ordered.”

The Egger worktops are PEFC-certified and use renewable material. The 38mm worktops can all be recycled and the range has FIRA Gold Award for product testing and quality.

“Sustainability is increasingly important in consumers’ purchasing decisions, says HPP. By highlighting such features and measures, showrooms and installers can distinguish themselves in the market.

Succession plans

The business also has an eye on succession plans to secure the future of the business with additions to the board of directors.

HPP | Pearls of wisdom 2

The business is led by managing director Keith Wardrope and he has been joined on the board of directors by director of marketing and business development Dan Mounsey, IT director Andrew Evans and sales director Gareth Evans


In addition to Dan Mounsey, HPP has appointed Andrew Evans and Gareth Evans as IT director and sales director respectively.

Andrew Evans, 45, joined HPP in 2004 as continuous improvement manager. He comments: “Becoming a director is a great step forward for me. I’m really excited to add extra weight to all areas of the business and to use my skills and those of the IT Department team to advance the company.”

Gareth Evans, also 45, first started at HPP as a 17-year-old in the sales office. He says the opportunity to work with many different departments was invaluable for his knowledge and development.

“I’ve spent all my career in the KBB sector, including a spell with Slumberland. I’ve now been with HPP for 20 years and seen a lot of positive change. I’m really excited to become a director with Dan and Andrew. I feel that our combined knowledge can help ensure continued success for HPP,” he says.

Completing the line-up, Gary Kinder has joined the company as purchasing manager. He has extensive industry experience, including roles with Eurospace Furniture, Symphony, Richmond Cabinets and JT Ellis.

And HPP hopes to announce new employment and skills opportunities for young people at its Oldham and Sheffield sites too.

Encouraging young people into the industry and progressing staff into director roles, should ensure the success of the business for another three decades and beyond.