Tapping into trends
It can be easy for fabricators to stick to the ‘bread and butter’ offering of traditional white when it comes to sales of PVC-U. But what about the non-traditional market of homeowners who are looking for their windows and doors to be a colourful statement, rather than an understated subtlety?
The average age of a first-time home buyer in the UK outside of London is 33.4 years old – this increases slightly to 33.8 years old inside the capital (gov.uk). Of these first-time buyers, 63% were in the top two income quantiles in the UK (uswitch.com).
This presents a very clear opportunity for fabricators and installers to target a younger and upwardly economically mobile market, according to Deceuninck managing director, Rob McGlennon.
“We have to rethink our concept of the ‘traditional’ end-consumer,” says Rob. “We are seeing a growing market of young professionals who are undertaking large-scale home improvement renovations, who are wanting their windows and doors to reflect the décor of their homes.
“This can often result in the homeowner opting for a coloured profile that encompasses the character of their home. This is a win-win situation for Deceuninck fabricators and installers, as you have your windows and doors in a really eye-catching setting that are likely to generate further interest, coupled with the fact that coloured profiles tend to be high-margin products.”
It appears that the prospect for growth in this market of young homeowners is only showing increased promise.
The PWC Customer Sentiment Index conducted in June 2023, showed that of all age groups, under-35s had the most positive attitude towards spending and the economy, with 25–34-year-olds showing a +19 index score (an 0 index score reflects true neutrality).
Conversely, 55–64-year-olds were the most pessimistic consumers, with an index score of -33, alongside 45-54 year olds with a score of -24.
Equally, in a buck from the established trend, the 25-34 year old age group presented the most optimistic view of their finances alongside 45-54 year olds in 2023, with 26% stating that their finances were ‘healthy’ (PWC, 2023).
So what does this mean for the industry?
“Well, it would of course be incorrect to generalise and say that all young homeowners want coloured profiles,” says Rob. “However, the demand is there from a market of people who are showing strong economic strength, and therefore it’s vital that fabricators and installers have the options available if, and when, the request for coloured systems presents itself”.
With a state-of-the-art foiling system, Deceuninck offers more than 30 stocked colourways, with an additional 20 colours available for delivery in just 15 working days.
According to Deceuninck, its colour and woodgrain foil options are also perfectly primed to tap into the latest UK interior design trends.
For example, the luxury paint retailer Lick recently released its Colour Palette of 2024. Featuring soft pastels and warm off-whites, it says that ‘natural, earthy tones will continue to form the anchor of interior colour palettes in 2024…paired with brighter, zestier, more uplifting colours, reflecting a new-found energy, optimism and desire to have fun with our interiors.’
Deceuninck offers sage green and Claystone white premium colour foils as well as Chartwell green and classic cream options available in stock for ranges such as the Heritage 2800 and the flush collection.
It also stocks all matching cills, trims, end caps and ancillaries.
But colour is not the only consideration when it comes to exploiting consumer demand to maximise sales.
Additional consumer research commissioned by Deceuninck and conducted by YouGov found that 69% of 35-44 year-olds preferred flush casements to storm casements, highlighting another statement trend in this key demographic of younger homeowners.
“In an ever-changing world, we as an industry need to adapt with it,” says Rob. “Part of that is being savvy with our product offering to ensure that we are meeting the tastes of all homeowners – not just a select group.
“We want to challenge homeowners’ expectations of what they think PVC-U windows and doors should look like. They shouldn’t have to compromise on their style because we can’t offer what they want; it’s about getting it out there that we can service the entire market”.