In celebration of KIRK Floor and Wall Final Solutions’ 20-year anniversary, we asked Michael Kirkland, the Managing Director a few questions about this wonderful achievement.

  • What are you most proud of in the past 20 years in your business?

Our growth and development from one brand M.Trim to the 10 brands that we have today. M.Trim is still the driving brand and we have grown it to international standards so that it can successfully compete with European brands today. Kirk has created a platform for future growth in the 10 brands ensuring we can have longevity for the next 20 years and beyond.

This year alone, I was very proud to issue 18 loyal service awards: 8 x 5-year loyal service, 5 x 10-year loyal service, 2 15-year loyal service, and 3 20-year loyal service awards.

I take inspiration from Kirk’s seventh differentiator: “Our people – the heart of our family business. We continually demonstrate that it is our people who make the difference.” I travelled to our four branches giving these awards last month and it made me immensely proud to be part of this great company. Kirk established a loyal customer base throughout Southern Africa and beyond. We are proud to serve these customers from our four branches.

  • In 20 years, much has changed. How has Kirk adapted to the needs of the market?

Technology has seen the biggest changes in the past 20 years. We have had to create a unique IT platform, which contains our database (since 2002) – a powerful differentiator and driver of worldwide growth.

  • What are some of the highlights of the past 2 decades?

We are a proudly South African company with still about 70% of all our products manufactured locally. We have a 90% success rate in specifications, and we maintain this by promoting our unique Kirk Product library file with the 10 brands, our advertising campaigns, our website, online specification platforms, and our in-house quoting system and unrivalled expertise of our sales team.

  • What has been your greatest lesson or your biggest challenge?

Introducing product(s) that do not suit the Southern African marketplace. We always try and do as much market research as possible, and we do it extensively. This limits the End of Range or Dead Stock scenario.

Because we are pioneers and leaders of products, it is imperative we engage with the main role players in the marketplace. This includes worldwide research, marketing, and advertising. Using the different social media platforms remains a challenge. These are the greatest lessons and challenges.

  • Kirk has been a great success – what do you attribute your success to?

When we started Kirk we had multiple team-building conferences and during one of these early conferences, we established our Kirk Principles. These are visible to all staff in all our offices and warehouses. We apply these principles to everything we do. In 2019 we upgraded our mission statement and acknowledged our Magnificent Seven Differentiators and combined with our Kirk Principles we continue to operate our company using this unique information.

  • What can we look forward to in the next 20 years?

Continued innovation, new products, growth in the 10 brands, and a vision to be a contributor to eco-friendly products. Also, allowing for a new and young team to thrive and grow and to find exciting new and innovative floor and wall solutions.

  • Any wisdom you would care to share with us?

Remain humble and focused. Always be prepared to learn something new every day, it makes the world go round. Be kind to each other and look after our beautiful country and people.

  • We’re celebrating: what are you having? Champagne or wine? Beer or cider?

One of our Iconic South African Red Blends would be my choice. South Africa should be so proud – we have world-class craft beers, sparkling wines, white and red wine, gins, whiskies, and brandies. You don’t have to go anywhere in the world. We have it all here. Remain in our beautiful country it has everything and more. God bless South Africa and its people.

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