by Andy Wallace

Despite the glazing market reportedly being in decline this year, many CCS retailers have experienced greatly improved sales results – a clear indicator that businesses can achieve better outcomes as a result of offering finance!

Separate reports by Palmer and Mintel have expressed a cautious note for the industry as it goes into 2016.

The previous 2014 Palmer report into the domestic window, door and conservatory market predicted the industry would remain buoyant until 2018 and expected 20% growth. However just 12 months on and the situation is far less optimistic, Palmer is now predicting that the market will have grown by less than 5% between 2014 and 2019

Palmer also report, “In spite of a benign, improving economy, with strong GDP growth, glazing home improvements seem to have faltered”.  They believe this is due to the slowdown in property transactions in 2014 and into the first part of 2015 (a significant percentage of home improvements are carried out soon after purchase); the current necessity of homeowners to continue paying back debt rather than extracting equity; and saturation in the window replacement market.  Palmer also cite a recent poll which highlighted a decreasing interest among homeowners in spending large sums on home improvements.

Offering finance helps installers overcome market challenges

However despite the poor market outlook, a sizeable number of CCS retailers are reporting a strong and consistent demand from customers for credit products such as low rate, interest free, and buy now-pay later promotions. This demand is undoubtedly helping to generate additional leads, as well as aiding sales conversion rates and encouraging larger order values when compared to ‘cash’ purchases.

Perhaps this explains why the majority of our glass and glazing trading partners have enjoyed good sales figures in 2015 despite the undoubted challenges faced by the sector.  It is therefore difficult to conclude anything other than the use of promotional credit achieves a much better outcome than simply relying on consumers to provide their own funding.