A leading kitchen franchise has posted record 18% growth in sales for the second year running.
Dream Doors has achieved two consecutive record months, resulting in an 18.6% rise on a year ago, itself an unprecendented year for turnover. Successive record-breaking years are all the more remarkable set against the backdrop of the worst economic downturn in generations, demonstrating the strong market position of the UK's largest kitchen facelift franchise.
In August, Dream Doors' network of 30 showrooms achieved sales of £920,000, and in September it went further still, managing to sell £950,000 of kitchen makeovers. October's figures are clear of the £900,000 mark for the third month in succession.
Says Dream Doors founder and managing director Troy Tappenden: “We almost hit the magic million, and it won't be long until we do! A couple of our Franchise Owners have put in stellar individual performances, with our Oxford branch selling more than £100,000 in September alone.
“People ask me why Dream Doors continues to grow, and why our Franchise Owners are selling more and more kitchen facelifts,” he continues. “While there are a number of factors to take into account, the main one is the average age of our customer base.
"Most Dream Doors customers are in their 60s, and have been much less affected by the downturn than other sections of the population. They aren't moving, but they do want to improve their homes.
"And that is exactly what Dream Doors does - we improve homes. But not only that, we improve them quickly and economically, and we use the very best materials.
"Secondly, our customers have usually retired, so they aren't worried about redundancies or job cuts. And most importantly, the savings they do have are earning next to nothing in interest.”
Since its inception 12 years ago, Dream Doors has always attracted a more mature customer base. Not just for the consumer benefits of its products and services, but because senior citizens place a greater value on dealing with local business owners. And in this economic climate, when even household names have gone out of business, they want the added reassurance of dealing with an established, credible organisation.
Unique selling points
“Customers want to know their money is safe,” says Tappenden. “And at Dream Doors, we have introduced a number of unique selling points to ensure customers feel confident spending money with us. The showroom is probably the biggest and most important factor, as this means our franchise owners are much more than just a number in the paper, a van, or a fancy website.
They have something tangible; a place that customers can visit, and where they can touch and feel the products. And importantly, with a retail base, customers are reassured in knowing that they can come to see the business owner if anything were to go wrong.”
Dream Doors offers its customers a kitchen solution that saves them money, but also time, stress and upheaval. A facelift - which includes doors, drawers, worktops and a sink - can be installed in as little as two days, and a simple door swap in just a few hours. This means customers suffer little downtime in the kitchen, and don't have to endure workmen coming in and out of the house for days, or weeks, on end.
“The feedback from customers has been the same since I started this business,” says Tappenden. “They choose Dream Doors because we offer a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to a complete kitchen.
"We take just a 50% deposit from the customer on order, and they only pay the balance when the job is completed. So they know we have to do a good job. They definitely prefer dealing with a business owner rather than salary-driven employees, and they love giving money back to the local community.”
He adds: “We believe we have got our routes to market perfected. We know who our customers are, we know what makes them buy. And through consistent advertising in the right places, we know exactly where to find them.”