Japanese homeowners have developed a taste for yet another institution. Conservatories built by Essex-based Pioneer Trading now join Burberry raincoats and malt whisky as another product that is being shipped across to the Land of the Rising Sun to satisfy an apparently insatiable hunger for products and institutions from Britain.
Following an initial shipment sent to Japan earlier this year a Japanese DIY chain has placed a regular order for ‘Eigo sanrumu’ after its customers clamoured for more. The chain, which has a large number of branches within a 200 mile radius of Tokyo, expects to sell Pioneer conservatories in creasing numbers to adventurous customers for whom PVC-U framing – let alone the styling – is an unusual site in Japan. The buildings will be delivered direct from the docks via fork-lift equipped trucks to customers who install the structures themselves.
Pioneer has been working with the Japanese chain for almost a year to ensure building and regulatory requirements are satisfied. Other details, such as the specific types of heat-treated timber used also had to be considered and fulfilled. Packing and shipping have also presented specific challenges, all now resolved with each container loaded with six conservatories.
Pioneer received a visit from the DIY chain’s Head of UK Product Procurement as the latest shipment left the factory. He told Pioneer’s MD Danny Williams that they chose Pioneer after much research and the test marketing because ‘the quality is excellent and Pioneer works just like a Japanese Company.’
“As we do with every enquiry we receive we took this initial contact seriously although I understand that a number of others dismissed it,” said Danny. “We have worked closely with our customer, have made changes to accommodate their market preferences and their customers are delighted with their new English Sun rooms. Now that we have developed the product and systems it is all running like clockwork. I hope to get some photographs of out products installed on Japanese houses-surrounded by bonsai trees and water falls-needless to say I am intrigued but also absolutely delighted. Dealing with the company has been an education in efficiency and courtesy.”