The challenge is in differentiation”, says Steve Mines, Sales Director Sliders UK. “There’s market demand but persuading homeowners to select your product over that of a competitor without sacrificing margin in a, if not quite saturated, highly competitive sector, is increasingly difficult.”
The figures speak for themselves. Just 19 per cent of the total market as recently as 2007, composite entrance doors took 38 per cent of the door market last year and will be half of it by 2018 (Palmer Market Research).
The growing appeal of composites in the retail sector has been one of key drivers of this growth. A market previously dominated by supply into the social sector, according to analysts D&G, retail now accounts for 43 per cent of all composite door sales, compared to just 28 per cent in 2012.
Further, they forecast that by 2018 retail will account for more than half of all composite doors supplied in the UK. The installed value of retail installations will also according to D&G forecasts, jump from 326m in 2015 to 439m by 2018 – a 35 per cent increase.
“Cost has been the driving factor”, continues Mines. “We’re able to manufacture composite doors far more efficiently and that’s driven retail growth. What we now need to be a little careful about is sustaining the value of retail sales in the medium to long term.”
This is more challenging in a sector dominated by just a handful of door/slab suppliers, with Distinction, Doorstop and DoorCo taking the lion’s share of the market.
Mines continues: “With USPs, comparatively thin on the ground – each system delivers high levels of performance – its fabrication where USPs are added to door sets in the hardware and glazing options that are applied to slabs and prepped leafs.”
“We’re able to manufacture composite doors far more efficiently and that’s driven retail growth”
Differentiation is clearly the critical factor in retail, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Sliders UK. Having first entered the composite door market in 2013, The Ultimate Collection is Slider’s UK’s newly refined composite door offer.
With a firm focus on retail it features a comprehensive choice of dual-glazed, arch and mid doors, tops and mid-doors, half glazed, oval doors, 9 and 8 panel doors through to cottage doors and contemporary 4lite doors.
The range is manufactured in the market leading Nan Ya slab from Distinction. This is combined with a choice of fully reinforced Duraflex, Veka and Eurocell 70mm PVC-U outer frames and slim, low line aluminium thresholds with twin seals.
Doors are available a wide range of glass options. This includes a choice of double or triple-glazed options, achieving U-Values as low as 1.0Wm2.K. The offer, carefully selected to meet end-user aspiration and to build in margin and opportunity for installers. It’s also supported by new point of sale material.
Standard colours are black, red, blue, green, Gold Oak and Rosewood. In its entirety the range includes a choice of 40 satin finishes including the popular Chartwell, to greys including platinium, lead, and granite through to Pistachio and Claret.
“We’re not unique in offering the Nan Ya slab. But we have worked very hard to add-value to it through the combination of glass, hardware and furniture that we offer with it and our wider service offer”, says Mines.
He continues: “Colour is a big part of that proposition. The satin finish make these doors look absolutely stunning, while the range of colours have been selected to maximize end-user appeal.”
As a specialist manufacturer, Sliders UK has an established pedigree. It became the first manufacturer of an inline sliding Secured By Design door in 2008, followed by the first SBD PVC-U bi-fold door in 2011 and in 2013, the UK’s first SBD aluminium door – all part of the fabricator’s Ultimate Range.
With a wide choice of PAS24:2012 and SBD options, this focus on security has continued into its new door offer including options on an enhanced security Fullex Kinetica TS007 3 Star Kitemarked cylinder. Handles and door furniture are Fab & Fix.
It also includes a choice of three high-security multi-point locking systems as standard, the Ingenious composite door lock; the Winkaus Trulock with its enhanced tensile steel hook design and AV2 self-locking variant; and the Winkhaus Heritage lock for traditional and contemporary door designs.
The fabricator’s expertise and understanding of its market means that they also feature an easy adjust system, delivering a high level of tolerance without compromising weather sealing.
“You can’t overplay the importance of security going forward in the door market as a whole and particularly in the composite door market”, continues Mines. “We saw PAS24:2012 established as the new standard in new build last October. The regulation doesn’t for the moment extend to the replacement market but in reality is likely to be a precursor to it, either in the form of regulatory change or end user demand.”
Mines concludes: “Composite doors are an increasingly important part of the product mix, enjoy end user appeal and are forecast to grow through to 2018. The challenge is that while the market is there, it’s being flooded with products.
“We believe we have an offer which supports installers in accessing opportunities but which also gives them the USPs to sell effectively against competitors.”
The Ultimate Range
Setting the standard in door specification
Tested to PAS24:2012/16 and Part Q compliant, we have combined high performance security with a range of low threshold options, to create a highly flexible door range. It means that we’re able to give our trade, new build and specification customers access to a unique portfolio of products, which deliver new flexibility and opportunities but also built-in peace of mind to the end-user.