Consumer Credit Solutions (CCS) has reported record finance sales in the home improvement sector for the sixth consecutive year. The business paid out almost £250million in 2015 — the highest amount in its 16 year history and an almost 20% increase on 2014.
Despite reports of a slight downturn in the home improvement market over the last 12 months, there is no indication that sales on finance are slowing down and there is clear evidence that companies promoting credit are outperforming their competitors.
Managing Partner Andy Wallace said: “Business is traditionally quiet in the run up to Christmas, however last December was extremely buoyant and exceeded expectations. There’s also been an extremely positive start of 2016 with early indications that January will be an exceptional month. Many of our key installers are also reporting a great start to the year, and that the use of promotional finance is continuing to provide them with a significant increase in both leads and sales.”
CCS client Safestyle UK recently reported it had experienced very robust trading last year. The company’s Chief Executive, Steve Birmingham, stated that the successful roll-out of its enhanced consumer finance offer had helped drive growth, despite a weaker market, and that the business has seen a strong start to 2016 and is confident of building on the progress made in 2015.
CCS’ findings in the home improvement sector have strong parallels with the UK car market which also had a record year in 2015. The motor industry has steadily increased its finance penetration, with many manufacturers now offering low rate and interest free as standard, and as a result 80% of new car sales are now completed using a finance package.
“With regards to finance, where the car market goes the home improvement market is never far behind. Increasingly, consumers want to make their larger purchases using credit, and in particular they’re looking for low interest, flexible loan terms and deferred payment options. There’s no question, in my mind, that proactively offering finance at the point of sale both encourages people to buy and increases their order values,” added Mr Wallace.
CCS has also recently signed an extended funding contract with long-term lending partner Barclays Partner Finance. Mr Wallace said: “Renewing our partnership with Barclays is excellent news for our installers and allows us to reaffirm our position as the UK’s leading independent provider of finance to the home improvement market for many years to come.
“By working together with our established panel of blue-chip lenders we have been able to lead the way in bringing the proven benefits of promotional finance into the sector and it’s enabled us to continue to offer some of the very best and most innovative credit products available.
“I am confident that 2016 will continue to see sustained growth in our core home improvement markets, including the Glass and Glazing sector which represents over two thirds of our lending portfolio.”