Hello design, goodbye white box on the wall, says Simon Cornelius of Aqualisa
The electric shower market accounts for 50% of the UK shower market, with 1.2 million units sold in 2015*. It’s the stand-out shower technology for installers when it comes to retrofits, ensuites, extensions and the price-conscious customer.
In terms of the number of products sold, the electric shower market has been in decline, particularly products with the smaller, 8.5kw engine size. At the same time, we’re seeing an increase in average selling price per unit.
Design has never been more important in this market, starting with the style of a shower but also the quality of materials, ease of use and the reliability of temperature and flow. The engine size of the shower is part of this trend, with customers opting for the more powerful 9.5kw and 10.5kw sizes.
Style-conscious homeowners are inspired by TV makeover shows and celebrity house spreads in Hello! and other magazines. They want the latest bathroom design for their own home and are aware of current trends from accents of colour to mood lighting and luxury finishes. When looking at an investment buy such as a shower, they are prepared to pay a little more for one that will last. What’s changed is that that the demand for style is now relevant to all price points in the market, not just the top end.
Design is the key to the future of the electric shower sector. The market has responded to this change in customer demand with a new take on the electric showers; it’s time to say goodbye to the standard white box on the wall. The new generation of electric showers combines designer looks and quality manufacture, no longer the poor relation to more glamourous mixers.
Launched last year, our Aqualisa Lumi™ and Sassi™ Electric are two examples of new generation electric, with integral light and customisable colour options to complement interior trends. This is where the market is going, so expect more designer electric over the next couple of years as other manufacturers join the party.
For installers, new generation electric showers provide another string to the bow. Perhaps a customer has an extension with a small combi boiler that won’t stretch to an additional shower – a clear cut case for electric, but they also want cutting edge style. Designer electric is the answer and not significantly more expensive than the old style, white box.
Installers know that electric showers are often replacements and finding the best retrofit can be tricky. Multiple entry points and a deeper cover are important for a more flexible installation and can conceal previous screw holes made in tiles. Some of the new electric products are made with easy install in mind such as controls with a large footprint and internals with multiple cable/water entry points.
*source BSRIA data April 2016
Simon Cornelius, Aqualisa Senior Product Manager
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