UK decorating trade – is it all about value or price? part 3
I asked three UK suppliers with a Europe-wide perspective of the decorating industry – is it all about value or price for UK suppliers, trades or homeowners? To say they were impassioned, insightful responses would be an understatement! Part 1, part 2… and now part 3
Paul Hague of Holman Specialist Paints in Swindon specifies and supplies high performance paints and coatings for homeowner, trade, commercial and industrial use. Their premium ranges include Tikkurila from Finland, Rust Oleum Mathys from Belgium and Bollom from UK.
Paint quality really is a can of worms, but UK consumers in particular are becoming aware of the short comings of many of the paint brands out there.
The cause of the general slide in quality vs price has several elements that have influenced the paint industry over decades, probably starting with the housing boom after the war (using poor quality timber that never got better) and ending with the growth of large DIY and builders merchant chains.
In the middle of that, add the contraction of the UK chemical industry and its ability to supply raw materials locally, and the global monopoly on titanium dioxide supply.
Finally add the cultural bias against manual trades, reinforced by the reduction in City and Guild type training courses.
When I was a Marketing Manager at Akzo, when the 80’s boom took off, all the above issues had an impact on reducing quality, the image and support to the paint trades industry.
It is quite a complex issue.
It is quite a complex issue, but the simple takeaway point is that companies like Tikkurila have not compromised on the quality of their products. Compared to their UK competitors, they were advanced premium products to start with many years ago, and because of a commitment to stick with premium ingredients, they have stayed advanced.
What do you think about the trending quality of mainstream UK trade paints? ie are contract emulsions better than they ever were, are oil paints still giving the best finishes on woodwork, is your vinyl matt emulsion still as good as back in the day?
Any more for any more?
This is a far reaching topic and any suppliers or specialists with feet in both the UK and Europe who wish to add their pennyworth are welcome to send in a blog. Nothing is edited beyond altering the layout for easier online reading.
This is not a downer on all things to do with UK decorating, far from it, it is more a shot in the arm, to broaden horizons, and maximise the opportunities for UK tradesmen and suppliers to offer value for money, and for homeowners to get value for money.
In a nutshell, all that matters when decorating should not distill down to the lowest price on a tin or the smallest number at the bottom of a quote. As a final quote:
A €50 meal can be cheap, a €10 meal expensive.
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