With the trend for home improvements looking set to continue, the most significant increase in demand was where homeowners are making aspirational choices about products – such as the over 45s and retired homeowners – who have been largely unaffected financially by the pandemic.
Freefoam Building Products have also seen this trend, manifesting itself in the sales of it’s external PVC cladding range with some stockist customers recording a 50% increase in sales over the past two years.
One such customer is Plastics South West. With an initial stock order in September 2017 the cladding range has now become an important part of their wider PVC product range, and now accounts for about 25% of total sales with an uptick in cladding sales of almost 50% in the last 2 years.
Paul Ewings, MD explained “We are seeing a steady increase in the demand for cladding in this area. Its addition to our range has definitely helped our business grow and develop. It has helped set us apart from our competitors and gives us a product to increase our share of the RMI and DIY markets.”
Plastics South West also understand that customers need support with newer products. They have display boards in the trade counter to illustrate the colour options and have even used the cladding on their sales counter to show how the product looks when installed. They offer clients a scheduling service to calculate boards and accessories required for projects and have installed the Freefoam ‘cladding calculator’ and ‘cladding visualiser’ on their website. Paul continued: “We find that by offering customers the help they need considerably increases our conversion rates.”
External pvc cladding is fast becoming the ‘ultimate’ home improvement product and a great addition for pvc stockists to add to their range. With its ultra low maintenance properties and its versality it offers an instant home transformation. Cladding can be used to cover any substrate from brick and block to render and pebble dash and to replace hanging tiles or existing timber cladding and to upgrade existing white PVC cladding, perhaps with a bold new colour choice.
Colin St John, Freefoam Commercial Director, summarised “We’ve seen a huge growth in sales of cladding, and it’s our customers, like Plastics South West, who have understood the potential and run with it who have really reaping the rewards. External cladding is just one example of our commitment to provide building products that help our customers increase their market share and allow them to enter new markets. “