Coastal cladding customers

Freefoam Building Products has said the current trend for home improvements has been reflected in the sales of its external PVC cladding range, with some Freefoam stockist customers recording a 50% increase in sales over the past two years.

One such customer is Plymouth-based Plastics South West. With an initial stock order in September 2017 the cladding range has now become an important part of its wider PVC product range, and now accounts for about 25% of total sales with an uptick in cladding sales of almost 50% in the last two years.

Plastics South West stock and sell the full colour range of Fortex Double Shiplap and Weatherboard products, alongside all fitting accessories, to a wide area of the south west, including many coastal locations. Clients in these areas prefer the more subtle softer shades that work well alongside existing render finishes, with Storm Grey and Misty Grey being the most popular, closely followed by Sage Green and Colonial Blue.

Paul Ewings, managing director of Plastics South West, said: “We are seeing a steady increase in the demand for cladding in this area. Its addition to our range has definitely helped our business grow and develop. It has helped set us apart from our competitors and gives us a product to increase our share of the RMI and DIY markets. We’ve also seen an increase in our customer base so it’s a win-win for us.”

Plastics South West also understands that customers need support with newer products. It has display boards in the trade counter to illustrate the colour options and has even used the cladding on its sales counter to show how the product looks when installed.

A scheduling service is offered to calculate boards and accessories required for projects, and the company has installed the Freefoam ‘cladding calculator’ and ‘cladding visualiser’ on its website.

“We find that by offering customers the help they need considerably increases our conversion rates,” Paul said.

Colin St John, Freefoam’s commercial director, said: “We’ve seen a huge growth in sales of cladding, and it’s our customers, like Plastics South West – who have understood the potential and run with it – who have really reaping the rewards.”

Click here to hear the Plastics South West story.