The Nice Group founded the French subsidiary in 1995 to distribute Nice products in the French market. These initially comprised home automation products. In 2010, Nice expanded into the lighting sector through the acquisition of FontanaArte. More recently, Nice acquired elero – the German leader in the manufacture of automated systems for internal and external solar protection for buildings.
Thanks to this ongoing process of expansion, Nice is now the second-largest player in the home automation market. “Nice has consistently combined technological innovation with constant research into new shapes and materials, which has led to many international design awards including Best in Category in the section Design for the Environment at the 19th Compasso d’Oro,” says President of Nice France Frédéric Philippe.
A good example of Nice’s focus on design can be seen in the new Inti range of remote controls. These devices are designed to control all types of automated garage doors and other entrance doors simply by adding a universal Nice receiver.
“We invest heavily in new product development and are highly attuned to what customers want to stay up to date with market demands,” says Mr. Philippe. There is a coherence in Nice’s design strategy that sets it apart from its competitors. The key features of Nice products are attractive design, functionality and ease of use - a winning combination.
Ease of installation is another important criterion. Although Nice serves the professional market, it still creates products that do not pose too much of a challenge to install. Its clients are professional fitters of doors and garages, carpenters, and suppliers of roller blinds and motorised sun awnings. The company also supplies major DIY chains under its leading Mhouse brand, which is not compatible with the professional product range.
As building automation becomes more widespread, there is concern over the environmental impact of increased motorisation for comfort’s sake. Nice is one of the first companies in the sector to explore powering its automated doors using solar energy. “We are very concerned about minimising the environmental impact of our equipment,” says Mr. Philippe. “By creating products that score highly from an environmental perspective, we are opening up new markets.”
Thanks to the constant innovation of its parent company, Nice France’s sales representatives are never short of new products to present to customers. A key market for the future is home security. Nice has developed a range of burglar alarms and security systems to meet this growing need.
Automated roller shutters are also increasingly in demand. “This is a very important market in terms of volume,” says Mr. Philippe. “Low prices for entry-level products have democratised the market and encouraged growth in all price segments.”