ALUMI N IUM
When Dekko celebrated the arrival of the Räum aluminium range back in
the aluminium boom was still in its infancy. Five years on, Dekko sales director,
Kurt Greatrex, reflects on the Räum story so far, and why he still sees aluminium
as one of the biggest opportunities in glass and glazing.
From the beginning, with Dekko, we had
a very clear vision of what we wanted to
achieve. For decades, UK glazing had been
dominated by white PVC-U, but by the late
s, that market was totally saturated. That left
installers with two options – embark on a damaging
race to the bottom on price, or diversify into more
exclusive, higher-end products.
Our aim was to help the trade take the second
option – showing them that, if they were able to
offer something stylish and distinctive, there were
huge opportunities available for installers who were
willing to step out of their comfort zone.
And that was the origin of Räum. After a decade
of TV shows like Grand Designs, there was now
major demand for products that could deliver ultraslim
sightlines, expanded views and a lot of natural
light – and very often, that meant window and door
products made of aluminium.
We assembled some of the best aluminium
products on the market, and created a really stylish,
impactful brand around them – people still talk
about the initial Räum teaser campaign today. And
it quickly went on to become a big success.
Homeowners loved the sleek sightlines, smooth
operation and first-class thermal performance, and
before long the range had expanded to include
luxury aluminium windows, entrance doors, sliding
doors, and, of course, bi-folds.
Given its origins as part of glass and glazing’s
response to the popularity of TV home
improvement programmes, it was only fitting that
Räum would eventually go on to feature in one
itself. Last year, Räum products were screened to an
audience of more than four million people as part of
ITV’s hit show, Love Your Home and Garden.
A team of home improvement experts, including
presenter Alan Titchmarsh, used Räum bi-fold
doors to help a very deserving family totally
transform their property in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
We were inundated with enquiries the day after
the show aired, which was obviously great – but we
were just happy to have helped.
THE COMPLETE PACKAGE
I think one of the key factors that’s made Räum so
popular is that it’s not just a series of products. It’s
a complete package, designed to equip installers
with everything they need to appeal to discerning,
If a client wants to build a single-storey extension
for example, they can use Räum aluminium
windows, Räum entrance doors, and Räum sliding
or bi-fold doors. There’s a Räum product for
virtually any application, and the range offers plenty
of opportunities for upselling, too.
RegisteredRäuminstallers can also take
advantage of Make It Yours, our exclusive marketing
support package, which includes powerful point
of sales material, showroom support andonline
content, which lets customers combine Räum’s
stylish branding with their own.
A PERMANENT CULTURE SHIFT
Five years on from Räum’s launch, I see no sign
of the demand for high-end aluminium products
fading. Right now, of course, the impacts of the
coronavirus lockdown are still being felt. But longterm,
I think the prospects are extremely good.
At one stage, there was a fear among some in our
industry that the popularity of aluminium was just
a phase – but personally, I don’t see the market ever
going back to how it was, when the vast majority of
products were white PVC-U.
Rather than some short term fad, what we’ve
really seen is quite a fundamental cultural shift.
Once, homeowners tended to see windows and
doors as very practical, unexciting purchases.
Overwhelmingly, they were buying based on
price. Now, I think people look at glass and glazing
products totally differently.
For a lot of homeowners, they’re now no different
to pieces of furniture, or kitchen appliances, or
anything else that helps them achieve the look and
feel they’re aiming for. If they’re embarking on an
ambitious renovation project, price is important,
but it’s often not the key decider anymore. People
want something that fits their vision.
That’s not to say there’s been no change
whatsoever in the aluminium market, though.
Bi-folds are still very popular. But in the last couple
of years, we’ve seen the emphasis start to shift more
towards large-span patio door products, which let
homeowners add a really striking feature to the rear
of their properties.
The specific products homeowners are
interested in will inevitably evolve over time. But I
think aluminium – with its stylish looks, slim frames
and great all-round performance – is here to stay.
SPEEDY LEAD TIMES
AND A LOT OF STOCK
At Dekko, we expect UK aluminium to go from
strength to strength in the years ahead. That’s
why we’ve invested in a new ,ft2 aluminium
fabrication facility which will let us significantly
expand our Räum operation. What’s more, we’re
now able to hold a lot more stock, which means we
can offer quick and competitive lead times.
Interested in learning more? Talk to Dekko today.