Showrooms are back in vogue

The latest findings from Insight Data reveal the number of double glazing showrooms have increased from 3,460 to 3,764 in the last two years, with an average of 12 new show centres opening every month across the UK. And the trend is set to continue.

Insight Data’s managing director Andrew Scott said: “In the 1990s every high street had a string of double glazing showrooms, but we saw a decline from the early 2000s as margins tightened and installers cut costs. The financial crisis of 2008 coupled with consumers moving from high-street to online accelerated the decline, but this trend is now reversing.”

A shift in consumer behaviour and an evolving market were singled out as key factors; while high-street visitor numbers have dwindled, new destinations that combine shopping, leisure and entertainment are booming.

“Out of town shopping, large garden centres with plenty to see and do, and leisure parks are all attracting consumers and proving lucrative to savvy retailers,” Andrew said. “It’s about creating a consumer experience – a destination, not just a shopping trip.”

Another major factor is product development. Installers are moving away from white plastic windows towards aluminium and timber, with new window and door products coming on to the market.

While consumers will do their research online, most will want to see products before buying, especially if they are new or include innovative features. Show centres at busy destinations, such as large garden centres, give installers the best of both worlds: excellent foot-fall and the opportunity to demonstrate exciting new products.

“Consumers are more selective than ever, and having a quality, well-designed showroom with great products will attract more visitors and help to convert more sales,” Andrew said. “It gives consumers a sense of confidence and helps installers sell at premium prices.”

Photo credit: DWL Windows, Doors & Conservatories – Millbrook Garden Centre, Staplehurst Road, Kent, TN12 9BT – 01622 831 541