Targeting ‘haves’, not ‘have-nots’

Solidor and Residor CEO Gareth Mobley says despite fresh political turmoil the news is still good if you sell the right products to the right people.

It took a few months of ‘strong and stable’ government, and a robust economy to calm Britain down after the shock of the EU referendum last year. It will take longer to restore confidence now Mrs May’s lost her majority in parliament.

As this article is written, May’s two gatekeepers have resigned. Senior ministers demand their say in a new government, new Scottish Tories set conditions, and Northern Ireland’s DUP party is negotiating blood for supporting the Conservatives in parliament. Off the record, ministers are speculating how long Mrs May will last, and Brussels waits to see who it will negotiate with when Brexit talks begin. It looks grim.

How the uncertainty will affect home improvement markets is anyone’s guess, but the fundamentals haven’t changed, so for many the prospects are excellent. It depends on what you sell and who you sell to, because the window, door and conservatory market has split into two quite distinct markets over the last 10 years.

The overall market is flat, but the premium sector is growing strongly; it can’t get enough of colour, innovation and the best of everything, whatever it costs. Meanwhile the mass market is shrinking, obsessed with price not value.

If you’re in the growing premium sector, your growth will be easy. If you’re in the mass market it’ll be like crawling through the rush-hour.

The market is polarising into a growing high-end market of ‘the haves’, and a shrinking ‘value’ market of ‘the have-nots’. The growing market for the haves, Solidor’s natural market, is driving our customers’ growth, and our own.

The haves, mostly low or mortgage-free over 45s, are growing in wealth and number as the value of their homes appreciates rapidly. They value comfort, security, colour and beautiful looks. Price is secondary. They’ve the money and incentive to improve their home so it appreciates further in value. Rising house values pay for the improvements, so they buy what they want when they want it. The haves are the premium market.

The have-nots are mostly under 45s. They have less discretionary income, so price is primary. They move for jobs and growing families. They may appreciate the best, but they can’t afford it.

However, premium or mass market, no one wants feel vulnerable at home. Three out of four burglars enter by the door, and in over a quarter of burglaries homeowners see the intruder, according to ONS crime statistics. With an epidemic of lock snapping and police acknowledgement that they don’t have the time or resource to investigate most burglaries, it’s hardly surprising 85% of all homeowners put security first when buying a new door.

So why do some companies offer security as an option? Most standard composite GRP foam doors still have 1.6mm-1.8mm skinned GRP doors that can’t pass the current PAS24:2016 cut test for enhanced-security performance requirements, and have locks that snap as soon as a burglar looks at them.

Security is not an option with Solidor or Residor which have 3.8mm skins that enable it to pass the PAS24:2016 cut test, and has Ultion as standard. That’s why every Residor is backed with Ultion’s £1,000 if-it’s-broken-into guarantee, and Solidor’s new £5,000 five-star guarantee removes the risk of purchase entirely and makes selling simple.