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GGP January 2015

44 D O O R S & COMMERCIAL ENTRANCES www.ggp.com January 2015 installation date often the only other key items for discussion. GGP: What do you feel will be the biggest influences on the home improvement market in 2015? Gareth: The home improvement market may be distracted at the time of the May general election, but the UK economy is now the fastest growing in the G7, at a time where the Eurozone is slowing down and Japan enters its own recession. Consumer confidence is high and that increases consumer’s propensity to consume, which is good for us all. Joe: The economic variables and influences highlighted by Gareth certainly ring true, however recent research data suggests that in the UK, 2015 will be the year to improve, not move. Our focus will be on driving innovation, in both product and marketing support, backed by a drive for service excellence, all designed to enable our customers to take a greater share of this great market opportunity. GGP: You mention that product innovation is key, but do you now think you’ve identified a certain type of ‘Solidor’ customer? Gareth: I think in many ways we have. Our typical customer understands the merits in selling a product that’s packed with USPs and product features and can effectively promote this to homeowners. These installation companies often sell complimentary products such as Residence 9 and the latest garden rooms, while trade slab only customers want to offer colours and the key engineering features of a solid hardwood core, while harnessing their own business operations, supply chain and labour. Joe: From what I have seen so far, Solidor has a very loyal and committed customer base, companies rarely gain such great customers without having consistently provided the right quality goods, great service and the right product for the market demand. Everything from our product innovations to the way we service our customers appears to set us apart and that’s why Solidor has been one of the biggest talking points in the past few years in the industry. The glazing industry is now starting to come of age with the ability to upsell value added products rather than go after the lowest cost base making proposition, which has plagued us all over the years. We now all understand that delighting the consumer with an extensive choice of durable, fashionable products at the right money is the key to sustainable and ultimately, profitable business. GGP: Perhaps more of a question for Gareth, but what is the relationship between DW3 Product Group and Solidor? Gareth: DW3 Product Group is a commercial entity that we’ve set up to help acquire and invest in companies that can demonstrate true innovation and potential for further growth, in the mould of Solidor. DW3 now wholly owns the Solidor Group and we are blessed with an experienced board of directors including group chairman, Stuart Lees, who has considerable expertise in corporate finance and acquisition strategies. The group is underpinned by North-West based NorthEdge Capital, who manage a £225 million private equity fund and have committed to a number of strategic acquisitions and investments by DW3 Product Group. It’s a hugely exciting and engaging future for the group and Solidor, as we’ll be looking to exploit synergies between the companies we invest in. Joe: I think it’s fundamentally important to have the financial backing of DW3 as we look to proactively grow the business, however, we shouldn’t lose sight of what attracted the investment and expansion plan. A thriving core business in Solidor is vital in underpinning the growth of the new group and Gareth and I are committed to driving-on the Solidor business to even greater success. “The glazing industry is now starting to come of age” Solidor’s unique hardwood core


GGP January 2015
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