Made in the shade” has special meaning for the window coverings industry during sizzling summer days. Long known for their great looks, ease of operation and light-filtering and blocking features, pleated and cellular shades stand to gain even more popularity among customers today in creating cool, refreshing interiors.
Draperies & Window Coverings asked top product manufacturers if energy concerns among customers are creating a surge in pleated and cellular shade sales, and how best can dealers showcase shades to communicate these energy saving solutions?
TOP OF MIND
Director of Marketing,
Honeycomb Business Unit
As the globe warms and energy costs soar, conserving our precious resources and saving on utility bills is an increasing concern with consumers. Hunter Douglas has been pioneering energy-saving solutions at the window for decades, having developed Duette® honeycomb shades with a cellular construction that traps air in 1985.
Today, as energy concerns again become top of mind, Hunter Douglas has introduced the Duette® Architella™ Collection of honeycomb shades. It boasts a unique, patented construction consisting of a honeycomb nestled within a honeycomb and provides two more air pockets than the original Duette honeycomb shade, thus dramatically increasing R-values. At 7.7, the Architella Collection boasts the highest R-value in the category—and is the most energy efficient nationally branded window fashion on the market today.
Energy efficiency is not all that dealers need to sell in the Duette Architella collection. We are seeing a consumer trend toward more sophisticated and dramatic colors and fabrics rather than just the basics. Duette Architella offers two beautiful fabrics: Panache™ with a relaxed, textural look in 12 rich colors like Honey Maple, Smokey Blue and Plumberry, as well as neutral tones, and Elan™, a beautiful, silk-like fabric selected for its lustrous finish and durability, available in 10 shimmering colors. These fabrics come in 3/4- and 1 1/4-inch pleat sizes in both semi-opaque and opaque options.
In addition, we see a strong direction toward innovative operating systems that allow consumers safe and easy operation of their honeycomb shades. The majority of our sales continue to be in our specialty systems like PowerRise®, UltraGlide®, LiteRise® and TruRise®, which all offer the consumer safe, beautiful options—and these systems are all now offered on the Duette Architella collection of honeycomb shades.
In terms of selling, the best strategy is always to ask the right questions and to provide ample display space to showcase a product’s attributes.
Lafayette Interior Fashions
With growing concerns with energy costs, cellular shades are the perfect solution for consumers. The double- and triple-cell construction available in cellular shades offers even more insulation and energy efficiency. The variety of lifting systems available can contribute to conserving heating and cooling costs. The day/nighter feature on cellular and honeycomb shades offer maximum light control and energy efficiencies by using two separate fabric panels in varying opacities to provide limitless options for light control and energy conservation. During the summer, the heat of the sun can be controlled with the use of the blackout shade and the view can be enjoyed later in the day with the semi-sheer or sheer shade.
What is perfect about cellular shades is that you can have vibrant color in the room and still have a white neutral side to the street. Colors are even more abundant and exciting than ever, and dealers have an opportunity to showcase the variety of lifting systems available. The first decorating decision a consumer has to make is color and the new Parasol Cellular sample book has been laid out by color palettes to help dealers walk consumers through the color decision and to the buying decision more quickly. The dealer can then help the consumer determine what type of lift system may be important to them such as cordless lifting systems for child safety, top down/ bottom up for privacy with light control, or motorization.
Senior Product Manager
With rising energy prices and increased efforts to conserve natural resources, today’s consumers are looking for window shades that not only beautify living spaces, but make homes more energy efficient. Cellular shades, which form pockets of air that insulate windows from heat and cold, are increasing in popularity. To reflect this growing demand, Graber recently refreshed its entire line of CrystalPleat® cellular shades with more than 100 new SKUs that combine fresh colors and fabrics with optional innovative horizontal slide technology and motorization.
Graber has focused on creating both new technologies and new styles for its refreshed line of CrystalPleat cellular shades. Dealers should also offer their customers a variety of options to fit their needs, energy concerns and style preferences.
First and foremost, displaying blinds is key. Consumers are much more likely to make a purchase when they can see and touch a product, so we always encourage a dealer to display a functioning product in the showroom. Graber has three versatile display options that can be configured as in-line, X-, Y- or U-shaped, each in a beautiful cherry wood finish designed to fit the modern décor of any showroom. Sample books are also great tools for dealers. Graber’s recently redesigned book for CystalPleat cellular shades includes pullout samples that showcase the product better than ever before—allowing consumers to touch and feel the material, opacity and cell sizes of the product.
MAXIMIZE THE MESSAGE
Marketing Communications Manager
Kirsch Window Fashions
Are energy concerns creating a surge in pleated and cellular shade sales? Yes, energy efficiency continues to be a question from consumers during the shopping process.
Dealers should concentrate on fabrics first and inform the consumer that they are not only beautiful in color and pattern, but also provide insulation ranges depending upon the collection chosen. Our research shows that consumers add on the operating system at the end of the shopping process. Consumers want the confirmation that the fabric they choose is available with a wide range of operating systems.
Kirsch recommends showing a fabric combined with an operating feature to maximize the message to the consumer through the sample shade. For example, try pairing Kirsch Mosaic Double Cell fabric with our Cordless Lift System to show energy efficiency and safety all in one shade. Another great option is to speak to the consumer with a media room by showing a Kirsch Twilight Opaque fabric combined with our motorized lift option. This sample shade markets to the consumer looking for maximum light control in a room where innovative technology makes the shades easier to lower during television viewing.