ccording to the latest figures from AMA Research, key influences in the woodcare products market

are the housing market and the underlying economy , which affects house moves, redecoration/ replacement cycles, consumer confidence and household spending, reflecting the fact that this market is mature.

y,, whi

2017. Demand for woodcar e products also continues to be heavily dependent on the r eplacement/ r efurbishment residential market. “Sales of woodcare pr oducts ar e strongly cyclical and reliant on the weather and overall climate conditions,” says AMA. “The UK has experienced varied weather patterns in recent years, with severe storms, heavy rainfall, flash floods and snow, which hav e replacement

w, demand for warmer weather

create d fence

panels and str uctures and, in turn, woodca re

products. However also

tends r,, to

encourage homeowners to spend mor e time in their gardens and may lead to greater spend on outdoor products and garden projects.” Liberon marketing

Dom McInerney says he has seen a trend for more people trying to “personalise

items, both in the

home and garden” and that they are using colour as an alternative to the natural finishes. “It’s very much ‘this is my back yard, this is how I want it done’,” he says, adding: “They take a colour they have seen in fashion or interiors and want to then use that on their woodcare in the garden”. Dom says he has seen a r eal trend DIYers intr oducing colour into their gar dens in a variety of shades – fr om bright and bold, to pastels and even metallic hues.

for Ye

“People continue to see their garden as an outdoor r oom and as an extension of the home and their interior décor schemes. In the UK, houses are not that big, so people work hard to convert their outdoor areas into a really liveable space that is a pleasant place to spend time in.”

As well as a move towards more colour in the garden, there is still very much a market for traditional finishes and shades, explains Dom. “If you have a beautiful piece of oak furnitur e, it has value and you want to maintain it and simply enhance

20 DIY WEEK 27 APRIL 2018

AMA adds that, despite this, the woodcare sector experienced sustained growth over the years 2013 to 2015, as a result of higher housebuilding and house moving levels, though gr owth rates have fallen since and r eached a low point in


the natural colour and finish.” As a result, Liber on finds that pr oducts offering a clear,r, , teak and medium oak finish are all still very popular with customers.

“People are very passionate about how they treat their timber. They will often have spent a lot on decking or outdoor furnitur e and they want something that is going to pr otect it and make it last longer.” He adds that there is also a move towar ds products that make the pr ocess of updating and maintaining wood easier and quicker – to take the hassle out of the job but also to appeal to end users who lack basic DIY skills and f tackling the task.


might be put off t Wi

ff ft

With a pr oportion of the population opting to stay put, rather than move home in the curr ent climate, Dom believes this can be an opportunity in getting people to tackle mor e home projects. “DIYers are taking on bigger projects – maybe because of uncertainty in


the economy or maybe because of an incr eased inter est. It means that retailers can start to speak to those DIYers mor e dir ectly about things that are less technical and move into other featur es you get fr om decorative tasks.”

Ye ers m

Ditch the distress purchase So, what can retailers do to engage customers and inspire them to buy more woodcare products?

“Attracting shoppers’ attention is key,” says Dom, who believesy,,” retailers could be missing a trick in promoting woodcar e products at key times of the year by not capturing customers’


with creative displays. He suggests: “Rather than having 15-litre tins of white paint

in the window, why w, cow hy

not put a piece of exterior furniture in the window or something to pr ovide inspiration? The white paint is a cash cow

a place for it, but it could be worth trying to do something dif

w,, so there is obviously o do something different at



manager We take a look at what’s driving g rowth in the woodcare market, with Liberon marketing manager Dom McInerney talking trends and how to inspire customers to buy more.

this time of year to attract customers by using colour.

Another option is to put samples of decking in dif fer ent finishes out the fr ont of the store – I’ve seen it done and it looks r eally effective. One of our customers has samples in all five shades of our decking paint and it looks r eally striking. It’s the best way to show a customer the finished article and what they can achieve when a pr oduct comes in a tin. The packaging may be gr eat and communicate all the benefits but a customer doesn’t see what the r esult is going to be.”

He continues: “The more a r etailer can show what the customer can achieve with the product and create a feature, the more success they will have with the category. It can becomey.. It can bec more of an inspirational purchase rather than a distress purchase.

“People will see there are more options to take home and create beautiful r ooms inside and outside the home.”

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