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GGP January 2015

INDUSTRY I N S I G H T State of the Market The third annual Emplas State of the Market Report reveals that triple-glazing continues to divide opinions and highlights cautious optimism for growth in 2015. As we head into 2015, a new poll has found that installers continue to be divided with regards to the impact triple-glazing will have on the window industry, but remain optimistic for continuing growth. Published this month, the third ‘Emplas State of the Market Report’, found that the optimism which accompanied recovery in 2013 has been eroded, so that only 63% of those polled this year said that they were confident that the industry would sustain growth in 2015. This compares to 98% last year. Mike Crewdson, sales and marketing director, Emplas, said: “The industry has perhaps ‘sobered’ up a little in 2014. Confidence in continued growth is still high at 67%, however, it’s significantly down on 2013. This may be explained by the fact that the initial release of latent demand post-recession, fuelled by the return of consumer confidence, has been and gone. “This shouldn’t, however, be seen as cause for alarm. The possible slowdown in the rate of growth experienced by some installers in 2014 compared to the immediate post-recession recovery in 2013, is indicative of a return to normality. The industry continues to see growth but growth at a sustainable level.” Divided on triple glazing But if there was general agreement amongst respondents as to general prospects of continuing growth in 2015, they were divided as to the contribution triple-glazing would make to that growth. Of those polled, 92% said tripleglazing sales had accounted for less than 5% of their turnover in 2014 – 7% said that it had made up 5 to 10% of sales, while only 3% said that it had accounted for a tenth or more of their turnover. This carried through to installers’ analysis of future triple-glazed sales with 67% of respondents predicting “the take-up of triple glazed products in 2014 has been minimal for most installers.” that they would never exceed those of double-glazed products. Of those that thought that it would, 13% said that they expected it to do so within two to three years, while 19% of respondents gave a longer four to five year time frame. Crewdson said: “The adage is that you should never say never. What is clear is that the take-up of tripleglazed products in 2014 has been minimal for most installers. This suggests that the increased cost of triple-glazing compared to doubleglazing continues to suppress sales.” The poll suggested that whatever misgivings installers and end-users might have about triple-glazing, energy efficiency remained a primary driver for home improvements. When asked if they agreed with the statement that ‘energy efficiency was the primary driver for new door and window purchases’ more than half of installers ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’. A further 30% disagreed, while just under 10% were undecided. Asked if ‘price was the most important factor in selecting a supplier’ 56% agreed yet conversely, when asked, 40% of installers said that homeowners were prepared to ‘pay more for quality and service’. This was also identified as an area of opportunity for those responding to the study with energy efficiency ranked as the single most important factor in driving retail sales. This was followed by security, quality then cost. When asked if they discounted regularly as part of their sales strategy, 34% of respondents said that they did, 23% said that they did so rarely and 43% said that they didn’t discount. “Pricing remains a challenge for many installers,” continued Crewdson. “Our own experience through our retail business, T&K, suggests that limited discounting as part of a sales strategy can be effective in bringing in new business. “What we see too often at an industry level is installers who either don’t discount at all, or those who do get wound up in a race to the bottom with their competitors. Homeowners are prepared to pay for quality and service but in our experience, they also want a deal.” When asked to rank which products they believed would be the primary drivers of growth in 2015, respondents listed foils and better aesthetics and composite doors as joint-top, followed by conservatory/ orangery hybrid products. Sustainable growth Asked which products they expected to see an increase in sales in 2015, composite doors and foils again polled highest cited by 75 and 80% of respondents respectively. Conservatories were cited by 38% of respondents, comparing favourably to conservatory/orangery hybrids forecast to see growth by 33%. Bi-fold doors were forecast to see increased sales by 47%. This compares to patio/inline sliding doors at 54%. “This isn’t entirely unexpected,” continued Crewdson. “We’re seeing recovery in new build, where inline sliding doors retain popularity because of their price point and because they’re easier to fit. In retail, bi-folds continue to have huge appeal but the price-point remains a barrier.” Crewdson concluded: “We didn’t see the very rapid growth which we experienced in 2013 in 2014 but we saw sustained and sustainable growth. We expect to this to set the tone for 2015.” 76 www.ggp.com January 2015


GGP January 2015
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