Clearview South Feb 2013 - Issue 135 - Page 42

bi-folddoctor A YEAR OF COLOURFUL OPPORTUNITIES TWR Trade Frames’ Managing Director Terry Richardson looks ahead for this New Year and identifies some interesting - and colourful opportunities. For those of us who lived through the 1980s it was a pretty memorable era, if not just for the mad haircuts and the miners’ strike. For the glass and glazing industry it saw the double glazing boom, with homeowners up and down the country replacing their old single glazed aluminium windows with white PVCu ones. Looking ahead, it is these 1980s throwbacks that hold the key to one emerging growth market. For many homeowners across the UK these ‘replacements’ are still the windows they have in their properties. But with consumer tastes evolving and a plethora of new products available there is an appetite for change; an appetite for replacing the replacements. Stylish and exuberant There is also a growing trend of homeowners replacing their old polycarbonate conservatories with a new design and having them colour-bonded on-site at the same time giving them an innovative, contemporary look. Supply and demand as well as products, whether it is renewable energy, trade, commercial, new-build or trade counters to increase sales opportunities. A year of opportunities For many homeowners white simply isn’t exciting any longer; instead they want stylish and exuberant coloured frames that give their property an exclusive, modern impression. This has led to an upsurge in the sale of coloured windows and doors with many replacement installations now featuring colour. Another trend to emerge regarding domestic and commercial property owners is that instead of completely replacing their windows and doors, many homeowners are having them colour-bonded on-site to give the impression of newly-installed windows. It’s an interesting trend and makes sense when you consider how many households have seen their spending power blunted in the recession and lack of available credit. In 2013 I am confident that consumer demand will be there and it will be interesting to see if supply can meet it. Installers who team up with on-site colour bonding specialists will clearly be at an advantage. They will also be able to communicate and sell this service to homeowners who may not realise that they don’t have to replace their windows in order to get ‘new ones’ that are a striking new colour. This presents opportunities to cross-sell. For example, if you have just installed a brand-new bi-folding door that is a different colour to the existing widows, there could be an opportunity to offer the on-site colour bonding service to update the rest of the windows and doors. Being able to offer the end-user on-site colour-bonding is certainly one way of keeping ahead of the competition and diversifying into growth areas. Bolting together with a company that offers this service in your catchment area will be worthwhile. Diversification So what else will 2013 bring? According to the Insight Data Fabricator and Installer report more glass and glazing companies will continue to diversify into other sectors Expect the recession to continue to infect consumer confidence and impact the industry as well. When the crash came in 2008 it polarised consumers and created an interesting ripple effect. At the lower end the saturation of cheap credit has seen the mass-consumers reign in their spending, whereas low-interest rates and a depressed housing market has seen more wealthy homeowners stay-put and spend on added value home improvement products. This has seen certain growth markets emerge and they look set to offer installers profitable business opportunities in the year ahead. The bi-fold boom show no signs of abating and here at TWR Trade Frames we’re already seeing the order book fill up for our popular eternAL bi-folding door and bi-fold supply, ser