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‘Made in the UK’ makes an impact in the Log Cabins market
Chris Hopkin examines the difference between foreign imported log cabins and a new breed of high quality UK manufactured log cabins.
In recent years the UK Log Cabin market has seen rapid growth as consumers shift from traditional economy built garden buildings to more luxurious outdoor retreats. Typically this market has been flooded with imported log cabins from the Baltic region but in 2007 the market saw its first shift towards domestically manufactured log cabins and the signs are that the influx of imported log cabins may be slowing as a direct result of these new ‘homegrown’
From a consumer’s point of view then, is there any real difference between a flat pack imported log cabin and British built interlocking log cabin?
The answer, it would seem, lies in the details;
The log cabin market has shifted dramatically with retailers now on the lookout for high quality log cabins rather than solely purchasing based on the price. Log Cabins are looked upon as a luxury garden building and many consumers are willing to stretch their budget that little bit further to get their hands on the best log cabins available.
In the past, many log cabins have been associated with water penetration and a susceptibility to wind damage but the market is changing and recent developments have seen a new breed of better quality log cabins hitting the market, led predominantly by a clutch of English manufacturers. It’s now becoming apparent that some of the most important qualities to look out for in a log cabin are the thickness and grade of the timbers used, the quality and function of the windows and doors and the structure of the interlocking joints.
Many log cabin manufacturers are now becoming aware of the increase in consumer expectations and this has driven sales to those who have been able to improve their product to suit this developing market. While it’s still true that the majority of log cabins being sold in the UK are imported, many offline and online retailers are becoming wise to the differences in the quality of the product on offer and are re-stocking their outlets with higher specification UK manufactured log cabins – A shift which has lead to an increase in log cabin sales and a decrease in subsequent customer service issues.
One leading example of a UK manufacturer making waves in the Log Cabin market is online retailer Tiger Sheds who began manufacturing their own Log Cabins in mid 2007 after encountering problems with previously supplied imported models. By spending time developing a unique four-way-chamfered interlocking notch system, to prevent water ingress, and sourcing the best quality British made windows and doors available the company has propelled their product to the high end of the marketplace. This has helped the rapidly developing London based e-tailor to see sales of their high quality Log Cabins rise by 75% in the first quarter of 2008 (see http://www.tigersheds.com). Combine this with a reported fall to less than 0.2% in retrospective customer service problems and there is substantial evidence to say that UK manufactured log cabins are increasing their grip on the market and, from a buyer’s point of view the– ‘Made in the UK’ stamp really does matter.
About the Author:
Chris Hopkin is an experienced journalist who specialises in the field of garden care and outdoor structures. He is a key contributor to many online articles and blogs including offering in depth market advice and analysis on behalf of large retailers such as http://www.TigerSheds.com.