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Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a very merry Christmas and a very happy start to 2012. But now you’ve all put on about six pounds and have developed a mediocre drinking problem, it’s time to ditch the unhealthy festive habits and look forward to one of the most challenging years that the industry may have to face.

To hit the ground running in a positive

way, companies need to look at what their target markets are and go hell for leather at making the biggest impact possible on them.

These areas are where I would be putting my money this coming year:

KEYLESS LOCKING We saw during 2011 the emergence

of keyless door technology. Innovators Door-Stop was the first company to bring the device to the mass market on their composite doors, for what was a relatively reasonable price - if you were to compare the technology to other forms of keyless entry, such as remote car central locking. Solidor has now moved into the same market with its version of key-free door entry.

As cars moved away from manual

locking to remote locking, I firmly believe that residential doors are going to go down the same route. 2011 was the year that consumers had to get used to the technology. We have sold keyless entry door handles for well over a year now. Some took to it straight away and were confident in the technology. However, a lot were wary of the handle. The main comment being: “But what if something breaks?”

REMOVE THE FEAR The biggest task for 2012 with this

technology is removing the fear from people. At the end of the day, we’re going to be

Whilst doing my day job, I’m getting more and more enquiries for bi-folding doors, both for existing rooms where French doors or sliders aren’t the preferred choice, and for new builds with extensions and orangeries.

relying on electronics to keep our front doors safe, instead of the tried and tested lock and key. But once the industry has managed to convince people of the benefits of the product properly, and allay the fear of something failing, I really believe that there is a great amount of extra-contract value to take advantage of, as well as securing those extra sales by using it as a USP.


Bi-folds really are now starting to make an impact on the industry. The idea of opening up a whole room/extension/conservatory/ orangery now sits right with the buying public. Whilst doing my day job, I’m getting more and more enquiries for bi-folding doors, both for existing rooms where French doors or sliders aren’t the preferred choice, and for new builds with extensions and orangeries.


Now, for a man who swears blind by

PVCu, this is going to sound a little odd. But I think that all companies should be looking at an aluminium option as well as a PVCu one. There are benefits. Lower threshold. Widest range of colour options. They do also suit certain buildings where PVCu bi-folds simply do not look right. They’re a more expensive option, but they can command that higher price tag

justifiably. There’s an opportunity for those just selling the PVCu solution to aim at the higher end of the market by having the aluminium bi-fold as part of their product portfolio.

Pushing a product with a price tag two or

three times higher than its PVCu brother may seem a little odd in a time of high austerity. But if anyone has noticed, a lot of the money made in double glazing at the moment is made in the southern half of the country. Aim a little further south than you normally would with these. You never know what contracts you might pick up for the future.

TRIPLE GLAZING Personally, I’m still a little unsure about

this, but it seems, whether I agree or not, triple glazing is going to become one of the big winners during 2012. My main reservation is cost. They’re obviously going to cost more, sometimes significantly more, than standard A-rated double glazing. So is it something that customers are really going to be buying into?

Could be: feedback from those companies selling and installing triple glazing has been positive so far, and many are reporting enthusiasm for the product from consumers, despite the extra cost involved.

Even though I have reservations yet to be proved wrong, I still think there is going to be a market for triple glazing that is more than worth tapping. It still has to be remembered that not everyone in the country is poor at the moment, and there are still certain customers out there willing to pay more for one of the most energy efficient products the domestic glazing industry has ever seen.

I think that - when I do my yearly review

of 2012 for Clearview in 12 months’ time - I’ll be able to report a little bit more accurately on the future of triple glazing and

72 « Clearview NMS « January 2012 «

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