We've just about had the last of the new portfolios for our key suppliers of designer radiators, so what do the new ranges tell us about the suppliers goals and direction for the year ahead?
Reina Designs, who initially produced a glorious range of Chrome products, seems to have had a focus for the past few years on generous heat output, offering us products such Neva, Rione, Sena and Bonera. These options, made from steel and exceptionally finished in a range of colours, were produced with large surface areas in mind, usually dictated by the width of the panels exhibited in each. Alongside the vast surface area, the optimum finish for heat emission (powder coating) was chosen to ensure that customers had radiators which delivered exceptional heats ideal, for larger rooms and open plan spaces.
This years collection seems to have revisited their roots once more, extending both their Stainless Steel designer radiator and Chrome radiator collection with the introduction of products like the Reina Elvina and Reina Nerox radiators. What we have noticed however, is the welcome addition of Aluminium Designer Radiators to their portfolio. Aluminium products such as the Reina Savona and Aleo Designer Radiators not only allow for experimentation with new (and we must add aesthetically pleasing) designs, but also introduces a concept of responsible eco-friendly heating. It's certainly a large step in the right direction for a supplier we thought may struggle as Hudson Reed continued their rapid product expansion over the past 12 months.
So, onto Hudson Reed. This was a range which really did impress in 2012 when around 10 new designer radiator ranges were introduced. Their 2013 portfolio isn't quite as thorough in their introduction of new ranges, so perhaps they have recognised that too much choice isn't always what customers want. Especially given that 90% of the time, the radiator is the very last in a long string of decisions to be made by those undertaking renovation or development projects.
What has been impressive, is their willingness to develop existing ranges such as the Hudson Reed Savy, Revive and Sloane designer radiators. As a retailer, we notice that if a customer finds something they like then they tend to want some continuity throughout the home, and there is nothing more frustrating than having a choice of every size required, but the one that fits under that blasted bay window. It would seem this should no longer be a problem for Hudson Reed, as they provide accessories allowing many of the vertical options mentioned above to be hung horizontally, a quite clever way to double your product range with limited expense. Add to this, their introduction of accessories such as radiator feet (for extra support where walls aren't quite strong enough) and it shows a real effort to listen to what customers are considering during the purchase process.
And finally, to mention one of the new boys in town in a supplier called Sidato. Their limited range thus far does leave it open to interpretation as to their desired route, but from what we have experienced so far, the results have been impressive. There is no scrimping on quality with these and this is carried from product to packaging, right through to after-care. What is evident is that considering the quality, the price remains unquestionably competitive, in many cases almost 20% cheaper on the most similar alternative in competing ranges. Certainly one to watch in 2013.....
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