I don’t get many “letters to the editor” on DGB. But, like buses, you wait for one, then two come along at the same time. That’s what happened yesterday.
I was sent an article from the UK and Ireland MD of Deceuninck, Rob McGlennon, on the meteoric rise of colour and what the company has done to be able to satisfy the demand for this new trend.
The window industry is no stranger to hype, but I don’t think I’ve seen a stronger trend than the current swing to colour.
We anticipated the trend, and invested in manufacturing, logistics and marketing so Deceuninck fabricators and installers could sell colour with confidence. We aimed to be 100% ‘colour enabled’ and ahead of trend so we wouldn’t hold them back, no matter how strong the demand.
So we invested in a highly skilled foiling team, sophisticated foiling plant and technology, stocked 26 colourways and colour matched ancillaries and trims to make them look perfect. Plus an ultra-large warehouse to keep them in stock so fabricators get what they order – on time and in full.
And with Deceuninck Online, fabricators can look into the warehouse 24/7 and put their name on the profiles they want – even single lengths of foiled profile – knowing they’ll arrive on their next delivery. Fabricators love that. No surprises. No let downs. No excuses.
Some said we were daft; that smart Syscos keep their money in the bank and extrude to order instead of making for stock. But the trend to colour is turning into a torrent, and you need that investment to service the demand.
Most fabricators can’t benefit from the trend because their Syscos are not colour enabled. They extrude and foil to order, so they’re unable to respond in real time.
Many fabricators will be surprised by this growth – even dubious – because they’re not growing, and their order intake is mostly white casements. But of course, they don’t see the foiled windows their customers are ordering elsewhere.
This powerful colour growth is being driven by the top end of the market, the Haves – older homeowners, whose mortgage-free or largely mortgage-free homes have appreciated rapidly in value. They have the money and incentive to invest in improving their home, and they can afford to buy the beautiful windows, invariably foiled, that make their home even more attractive and valuable.
The Have Nots, the shrinking mass-market of homeowners who are ‘just about managing’, mostly buy white windows because every penny counts.
Just three years ago, one in four Deceuninck windows were colour, against one in five in the market as a whole. By making it easy for fabricators and installers to sell colour, we put a rocket under our colour sales. Colour grew from 30% in 2016 to 51% in December last year, and 52% this January. We expect our colour sales to hit 60% by the end of this year.
These are the figures behind Deceuninck’s claim to be No 1 in colour. They’re also the figures behind Deceuninck fabricators’ success in the market.
If fabricators aren’t experiencing a similar surge in demand for colour, they must be falling behind. The question is, what are they doing about it?
MD Deceuninck UK & Ireland
Straight to the point, as Rob often is. But this is literally a case of “build it and they will come”. I do also agree that if fabricators are still only seeing orders in shiny White casements, and they’re not growing, their installers may well be buying their coloured products elsewhere.
There is no getting away from it, colour is here to stay and in a big way. Home owners who can afford it are much more likely now to move away from smooth White and into something more colourful. Fabricators, and indeed systems companies, need to be able to offer that. Those who spotted this trend will already be feeling the benefits. Those who were slow to move may find it very difficult to get any sort of worthwhile market share now.
Thanks again to Rob from Deceuninck for submitting this.
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