March 15, 2022

Retail slowdown?

Will aluminium’s appeal ride out a slow-down in home improvements and lower levels of consumer confidence? We report

The industry is facing head winds. The initiatives that artificially inflated consumer bank accounts during successive lockdowns are gone. Stamp Duty holidays appear a distant memory, and while house prices remain high, affordability has led to a slowdown in transactions.

Throw into that ‘mix’ the lifting of the energy price cap, which unless you’re on a fixed deal will mean your energy bills are likely to jump to jump to above £2,000 a year from April; and the Ukranian Russian conflict; and it’s easy to understand why consumer confidence dropped to its’ lowest level in 13-months at -26 in February.

“It looks a little bleak out there right now, but we need to hold our nerve”, says Nigel Headford, Director Deceuninck Aliminium. “Some sort of a slowdown in retail was inevitable. It doesn’t mean we’re coming to the end of the road, its only that we’re going to need to work harder.

“A lot of people bought new houses last year. And a lot will feel the pinch of increased energy costs from April – potentially a key driver of energy efficient home improvements.

“The other thing is that aluminium bi-folding ort inline sliding patio doors are an aspirational purchase. People want to buy them.”

A comprehensive new aluminium system offering, Decalu includes a series of casement options including Decalu 88 Steel and New Steel, designed to replicate steel commercial windows; plus a hidden sash and retro option. There’s also a turn-and-tilt option and the ultra-energy efficient, Decalu101 Scand.

Deceuninck Aluminium has, however, chosen to focus its initial attention on Decalu88 its new bi-fold and accompanying lift-and-slide option, Decalu163.

“We’re focussing on those areas of the market which offer the greatest opportunities to our customers in trade fabrication and in retail”, Nigel says. “There are significant growth opportunities in aluminium full stop but they’re perhaps a little more pronounced in bi-folding and inline sliding door supply.”

As a retail proposition, the Decalu88 bi-folding door ticks a lot of boxes. U-Values are as low as 0.68W/m2k triple-glazed or 1.2W/m2k double-glazed.

This is something which means it can meet new requirements for new build as well as home improvement under Part L from June this year – double-glazed, without having to go to triple-glazed units.

With each sash able to accommodate weights of 200kg and up to 3m in height, the Decalu88 Bi-folding Door, also offers impressive design flexibility, while guaranteeing ultra-smooth running and performance. This also means that it’s been tested to PAS24 at 3m tall.

With slim sightlines and a minimalistic contemporary aesthetic, the Decalu88, in common with the wider Decalu offer is available in dual colour, marine grade, textured and metallic finishes, as standard.

“It also features a 7mm fully adjustable jamb on each side of the door, simplifying squaring and setting”, continues Nigel.

“Add to that a knock-in glazing bead with pre-inserted and co-extruded flush gasket, and you can glaze each sash in less than 4minutes and fit a door in as little as an hour.

“You can literally fit an extra bi-fold a day but because you don’t have to go up to a triple-glazed unit to meet requirements under Part L from June, you also don’t have to handle the extra weight.

“That is a massive win for fitters and installers.

“It’s about maximizing margin on every job. That’s something everyone should be doing all of the time but if the market is tougher, it becomes vital.” For more information call 01249 816 969, email  or visit

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