Good, better and best

By Russell Yates, managing director of Aluk.

Aluk will shortly release our brand new Infinium sliding door targeted directly at the high-end retail market. Previewed at the FIT Show at 3,500mm (h) x 3,000mm (w), it proved to be one of the main attractions on the Aluk stand and is already generating significant interest.

The Infinium door has impressive sightlines of just 21mm at the central interlock and a fully concealed outerframe allowing for panoramic, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling views. It also has the option of motorised operation, double or triple glazing, and a floating corner post, so ticks all the necessary boxes for the luxury Grand Designs type properties it is aimed at.

Infinium is a flagship product for Aluk, but it is one which represents much more than a single high-end door for us. It marks the launch of a whole new product tier by Aluk, and is a key part of our strategy to offer the ‘good, better, best’ product offering which I believe is essential in today’s door market.

Moving forward, our aim is to provide fabricators and installers with products that are clearly defined in terms of where they fit in the market and that allow our customers to achieve strong and sustainable margins in the mainstream, premium and high end sectors.

Without this kind of definition, I think there is always a danger that fabricators and installers can lose out on business in sectors where their products don’t naturally ‘fit’, or see their margins eroded as they are forced to compete against products that are not really like for like.

This is becoming a wider issue for the whole industry as the market for bifolds in particular becomes increasingly saturated, but I believe we’re addressing it in a very positive way.

As well as developing and launching Infinium as our ‘best’ range, we’ve also done a lot of work evaluating and developing our other ‘good’ and ‘better’ product ranges. Crucially, we have also rebranded these so that we can help our customers market them effectively and make it easier for them to offer retail buyers a choice of options.

Our mainstream door range, for example, is now branded Optio and includes our popular BSF70 bifold door and BSC94S inline slider. Meanwhile, our new premium door range is branded Luminia and was introduced at the FIT Show with two new high specification, high performance doors.

The new Luminia F82 bifold features sightlines of just 97mm at the frame, cill and jamb and U-values of just 1.34W/m²K when double glazed, and the new Luminia SC156 sliding door has sightlines of 50mm and U-values as low as 1.0W/m²K in a triple glazed option.

The response from customers who saw our new products and defined new branding at FIT was hugely positive. They could clearly see the benefits of having two, or potentially even three, different sliding or bifold doors, depending on the buyer’s budget, property, and performance requirements.

Strategically, we are now looking to develop a strong group of select partners for our Infinium and Luminia ranges who have the ambition and scope to develop their businesses within aluminium and offer a premium or high-end product to their customers.

A major benefit for all our customers of course is that all these products carry with them the core design principles and inherent product quality which characterise the whole of the Aluk range. Whether they are buying our top of the range Infinium door, a premium Luminia, or a mainstream Optio door, Aluk customers know that all the products will come with expert sales and technical advice and full sales and marketing support.