Home improvement finance specialist, Consumer Credit Solutions (CCS), has reported finance approvals in the glass and glazing sector for May/June 2015 were up approximately 32% on the same 60 day period in 2014 (from £23m to £30.5m).
Despite a slight contraction in the market last year and a slow start to 2015, both national and regional installers, working in partnership with CCS, are reporting sales have been more buoyant since the second quarter of the year and are expecting this trend to continue.
Andy Wallace, managing partner at CCS, said: “It’s clear from talking to our partner installers that consumer confidence is definitely increasing, with homeowners willing to commit to ‘big ticket’ purchases and home improvements.”
CCS client, Steve Birmingham, CEO of SafeStyle UK, supports this view and also believes that macro-economic factors are currently very favourable for the industry. He said: “Low inflation, increasing disposable income, improved consumer confidence, house price inflation and increasing housing activity are all factors which would suggest the remainder of 2015 and into 2016 should see growth in the replacement window and door market.
“Our strategy is to offer quality products and services at very competitive prices supported by attractive finance products thus making the whole proposition compelling to prospective customers.
“Without embracing finance, it’s inevitable that you will miss converting potential opportunities into orders.”
Norman Hornigold, sales and marketing director at SEHBAC, also highlighted the importance of offering more than just traditional windows and doors. He said: “There can be no doubt that the glazed extension market is showing the biggest shift in consumer requirements and trends. As a consequence, we have seen our turnover within conservatories grow considerably.
“Retail customers have become ever more discerning, we have a need to keep pace with their demands, particularly around payment options. People who would typically have been a ‘cash customer’ for SEHBAC are now looking for interest free credit and buy now pay later options, so it’s key for us to make this facility available.”
CCS regional installers are also experiencing growth. Nusheen Hussain, marketing manager at North East based Pennine Windows, said: “Sales of Pennine’s products, including conservatories, orangeries, windows and doors, have increased by more than £3 million between 2011 and 2014, soaring from £8.04 million to £11.1 million. Offering low rate finance and deals like ‘buy now pay later’ to our customers, makes high investment home improvements more accessible to those who may not have sufficient savings.”