Designer Radiators - How a bleak economy can lead to fancier homes

Posted by Phil Scott on

The word 'recession' has been an ever present in the media for near on the past decade, and by enlarge there do not seem to be many positives to derive from it. Low confidence, consumer spending falling, increased unemployment, but is there a flip side?

The answer to the above is of course, yes.

The Designer Radiator Market focus

The whole 'designer radiator' industry noticed an initial drop in sales when the tabloids were in full throttle with the 'doom and gloom' stories (and it's safe to say they weren't alone); but as all good businesses do when sales drop, they provided a response. Many did the obvious thing in lowering prices, which provides the first key customer benefit. The 'Anthracite Designer Radiator' that cost £350 the previous week, was all of a sudden £299. Of course everything is relative, but essentially a radiator that may have been desirable, yet out of budget one week, was now a possibility.

The second positive, came about as many new entrants joined the market, many of whom were existing bricks and mortar businesses, that needed an alternate sales outlet to bolster their takings. From a customers perspective, this was another huge bonus. Increased competition again meant falling prices, especially given that certain styles were becoming increasingly popular. No longer was the designer radiator marketplace one which was defined by individuals making individual choices, by unique tastes. A more cost concious customer ensured that Vertical Designer Radiators dominated, even more so where large heat outputs could be achieved. It got to the stage where many retailers were sourcing from the same wholesale channels and competing with minimal margins. So what was the next step?

The only choice for many retailers was to go right back to the product source, which in most cases was the Far East. Nobody wanted to spend their days making a true £5 margin on a £250 product using ebay and Amazon sales channels, so the only option was to cut out the middle man. This pretty much forced what can perhaps be considered the 'dissolution of the wholesale designer radiator market'. This is not to say that good branded wholesalers no longer exist, but the key retailers in the market have had their hands forced, and have had no option, but to source at the lowest cost to get the best end price for their customers. The bonus to the end user is that a product which 2 to 3 years ago cost £350 is now available for closer to £180 delivered.

The current Designer Radiator trends

Even with prices reaching an all time low (and in fairness the lowest possible conceivable prices), there are still added bonuses for the consumer. Not only are retailers now forced to present new products quicker than would normally be anticipated, but the threat of a competitor in the current climate means that the 'Venus Silver Designer Radiators' don't stay current for long. There is no longer the option to expect such vast margins derived through extortionate pricing. The only option is to be the choice retailer for that particular design and make sure that the customer gets the best possible service from you. Better still, the only real way to stand out now is through innovation in design. Price is more or less dictated in the modern day to reach it's lowest point in the quickest possible time, so all we can do as a retailer is offer the best service, and perhaps that something special that you might not have seen before, which will no doubt make you the envy of all your peers.


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