The door market is recovering and is showing signs that growth will be sustained over the next few years, so how can merchants cost effectively maximise their sales during this period of recovery? Simon Johnson, Sales Director at JB Kind, gives his top three tips that could change merchants’ bottom lines.
Tip one: Know what’s hot and what’s not
When we decide upon the door designs we are going to stock in our Door Collection each year, it takes preparation, research and an insight into interiors that only comes with years of practice — we’ve got more than 30 years’ of it!
With the ongoing trend of redesigning the home, you’ll find that lots of customers will know what’s ‘on trend’ and ‘in style’ — you’ve got no choice but to know too.
When it comes to cottage style doors, the Thames door from our River Oak Cottage range is always a reliable door to recommend if in doubt. And whilst Oak is still popular, there has been a big upsurge in orders for walnut veneered designs. Clean white primed flush designs — such as our Limelight range — also keep many merchants’ bottom lines buoyant.
Shaker panel doors continue to be big sellers and this is particularly noticeable in our exclusive-to-JB Kind Axis design, part of our Symmetry range, where new Oak and Walnut versions are already attracting significant orders.
Also exclusive to JB Kind, the Mistral was launched last year and is flush veneered with a grooved three panel effect. Available in Oak, Walnut and White primed, sales of this range were seriously significant in 2014 and, given the feedback we’re getting, we’re expecting this trend to continue. We’re also expecting our new for 2015 Quattro design to race off our racking given its contemporary look and incredibly competitive pricing.
So what about what’s not hot? White Moulded Panel doors are still popular with traditionalists however we predict that within a few years, sales will decline as people replace them with flush designs and successful ranges like Symmetry.
Tip two: Door displays will boost sales
We all know there’s a lot of competition in the market place so differentiating your product and service offering is key to success. Online companies can’t offer customers a complete experience, for example. People like to see and touch their doors before they buy, and looking at a website can’t give the customer that. Often customers are purchasing multiple doors and it’s a big investment, so they want to be 100% sure they are making the right decision.
Merchants can easily add value to a customer’s experience and help them to take strides towards a sale by housing a door display. This not only enables the customers to properly visualise the door in situ, but it also provides easily accessible customer information and illustrates the merchant has access to a wide selection of door ranges. End customers will often travel long distances to view the products they are considering purchasing so investing in a door display is often worth the time as they can draw in paying customers from out of your normal radius — and hopefully they’ll buy more than just the door from you.
JB Kind offers door displays to its stockists and we are currently working with merchants across the UK to find the right door display for each one. We have new flexible display stands that can fit in the smallest of spaces to the largest of showrooms which are supported by attractive and informative point of sale materials.
We are also actively sending customers directly to merchants through our online Supplier Locator, which is housed on the www.jbkind.com website. The Supplier Locator feature enables consumers to search for those merchants that have JB Kind doors displayed at locations nearest to their postcodes — so whilst prospective customers may look online, when they are ready to make a serious buying decision, they’ll know how to find a JB Kind display to visit.
And the feedback is very positive — merchants tell us that they’ve seen a significant increase in sales of JB Kind doors for those that have a display, even if it is small.
Tip three: Strike up a partnership
I believe that two heads are better than one and that close working relationships with your suppliers make all the difference. For example, at JB Kind, our regional sales managers are working hard to develop even stronger relationships with UK merchants, with the aim of increasing door sales for both parties. We work closely with our merchants to create tailored promotional offers, which have a real positive affect on merchants’ bottom lines.
With thanks to Simon Johnson, Sales Director at JB Kind.