Colour has everything
Deceuninck’ssales director Chris Jones says Deceuninck fabricators are thriving with colour.
How’s business for you? It probably depends on who you’re selling to. The latest installation statistics from Fensa show volume in H1 2019 down 8.2% compared to the same period in 2018, so many companies are struggling.
It’s not all bad news. While the ‘shiny’ white volume market is shrinking along with its margins, the premium market – where foiled colours, new products like the flush sash and other in-demand innovations are concentrated – is growing fast.
It’s thriving thanks to the growing housing wealth of older, mostly over-55 homeowners. This group – we call them the Haves – own much of Britain’s housing wealth and 90% of Britain’s savings. They can afford to invest in their homes and they want the best with style, quality and colour the top priorities.
If you’re not selling to the Haves, should you be? If you are selling to the Haves, with the right portfolio of products and colours, you’re probably doing very well. We know this because Deceuninck and our fabricators have been riding this colour and premium product wave. Deceuninck’s year-on-year sales were up 18% to the end of July, nearly 30% up on the market. Our customers are flying too.
A few years ago, Deceuninck decided to invest in the products, colours and service to help our customers stand out and sell more. We saw the fierce competition and squeezed margins in the white mass market, and the growth opportunity in premium.
We saw a growing interest in colour, and looked at Ireland and areas of continental Europe where colour massively outsells white, and saw the potential in the UK too. British homes were built for colour and, given the choice, homeowners choose colour. Inside and outside the home, influenced in part by high-end brands like Farrow and Ball and Fired Earth, colour is gaining serious momentum.
Our investment in colour started with a state-of-the-art foiling plant and a world-class foiling team, and a 140,000ft2 warehouse with mountains of foiled profile, and matching end caps, sills and ancillaries to supply 30 colourways from stock.
From stock means whatever Deceuninck fabricators order, from a stillage to a single length of profile, will be with them on their next delivery across the full Heritage Window Collection. As it’s already in stock our otif scores are always over 98%.
In 2016 we shook up the market with 26 colourways from stock and our colour sales skyrocketed, jumping from 25% in 2015 to 40% in 2016. Today we’re raising the bar again by launching 30 colourways from stock. And we’re introducing a further 20 colours in a guaranteed 15 working day turnaround to give our customers a further advantage.
It’s working. Colour is a key reason fabricators give for moving to Deceuninck. Our colour sales are 60% this year and rising, and Deceuninck’s top 20 fabricators sell over 50% colour.
Mike Parczuk, MD at Sternfenster, said: “Customer demand is becoming more about the aesthetics of a window. Colour plays a huge part in this and Deceuninck’s colour range, product quality, service and deliveries are very good. Our ability to respond quickly to customers, knowing that whatever we order from Deceuninck will arrive on our next delivery, gives us a big sales advantage.”