GGP talks style, sales trends, and sliding sashes with Marketing Director Dawn Stockell.
How strong is the current heritage market, in your opinion?
We’ve found the heritage market to be a very strong area of sales opportunities for our customers. PVC-U used to have a reputation as a thoroughly modern material that wouldn’t be appropriate for historic buildings and heritage properties. Thankfully, more and more people are now appreciating how versatile this material can be, and how far it has evolved stylistically in recent years. With realistic woodgrains, mechanically jointed frames, slim sightlines and traditional-looking hardware, it can be virtually impossible to tell a PVC-U frame from its original timber counterpart. And PVC-U offers all the additional benefits of energy efficiency and low maintenance.
Long-standing Halo customer Masterframe recently provided 220 vertical sliding PVC-U sash windows for a historic town hall revamp, and the results speak for themselves!
What trends are emerging in the industry?
We’re seeing more and more demand for coloured frames, and an ever-growing market for versatile vertical sliders.
Laminated profile now makes up 40% of VEKA Group sales and we predict that this demand for colour is going to keep growing. 40% of VEKA Vertical Sliders are now coloured and around a third of those are laminated both sides.
This trend extends across residential, commercial and public sectors and that’s why VEKA Group is investing millions in the manufacture of laminated profile, to continue providing the best product and service in the industry. We’ve also simplified our colour offering, with 95% of all colour sales from stock, so it’s even easier for customers to take advantage of this growing market
What prompted VEKA Group to unveil the ‘next generation’ VS?
The Vertical Slider is enjoying a great revival, not just in heritage properties, but as a design choice in modern homes too: a promising shoot of growth in the midst of a relatively flat market. Market research shows that sales of Vertical Sliders to the home improvement market have increased by 32% to now take 10% market share of frames at 443,000, with this figure predicted to keep rising.
We want to make sure VEKA and Halo installers can take advantage of these opportunities, with a Vertical Slider that combines form and function in a way that outshines anything else on the market.
How have customers reacted?
The reactions so far have been fantastic. Customers can see the level of attention to detail that has gone into its design. Modplan was one of the first customers to see the Imagine Vertical Slider and there was absolutely no hesitation in them placing their first order.
The Modplan team told us they’re confident that it will be a really valuable addition to their product portfolio.
We’re looking forward to showing it off to the wider industry at this year’s FIT Show.
What are the main benefits to fabricators?
I think one of the most exciting features for fabricators is the fact that the outer balance chamber is co-extruded in black, which means there’s no need to mask and paint. Time is saved, quality defects are reduced and the finish is more durable and professional.
When working with a Vertical Slider that has a different colour and/or texture on the interior and exterior faces, the frame infill makes the two meet beautifully.
And to installers?
This product has been years in the planning, to ensure - among other things - that it is extremely ‘fitter friendly’ and now, thanks to ongoing investment in lamination, it is available in 14 colours from stock, meaning you can offer your customers enviable lead times. It also offers two choices of cill, (stub or 200mm) and an innovative ‘invisible’ approach to coupling windows.
We absolutely believe it is the most technically advanced Vertical Slider product on the market, giving VEKA Group customers a real sales edge in an area of genuine industry growth.
What are the end user advantages?
It goes without saying that the Imagine Vertical Slider exceeds all the expected industry quality accreditations for strength, security, energy efficiency and weather performance.
It’s a versatile system that is equally suited to traditional properties with historic charm, and stylish new builds with modern appeal. There’s a stunning sculptured finish on both sash and outerframe, as well the option of timber-like mechanical joints, three types of sash horn, heritage hardware and colours to suit any property.
Along with stunning good looks, it offers effortless operation, which includes a tilt facility for easy cleaning and ventilation.
How can people find out more?
There’s a host of literature and product videos available, and we’re happy to show it off to interested fabricators and installers here at VEKA HQ. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01282 716611.
The Imagine Vertical Slider will also be taking pride of place at The FIT Show in May.