‘Composite Door Market Continues to Represent Significant Opportunity’ Claims New Research

Published: 2nd February 2011

Permadoor LifestyleNew research reveals that while pundits tipped major growth in the retail composite door market exploitation of those opportunities by installers has lagged behind original expectation, leaving significant areas of opportunity still untapped. Commissioned by Permadoor, the study found that while those companies who operated solely within the commercial sector reported that 70 per cent of doors they supplied were a composite construct, the reverse was true in the retail sector with PVC-U panels accounting for 70 per cent or more of installations.

This according to responding retail businesses was for the large part down to price. They suggested that “although people liked them [composite doors], they couldn’t afford them”, an issue magnified in the specification of back doors where PVC-U remained the most popular selection, again according to respondents chosen by consumers largely on a cost basis.
Steven Collett, trade sales manager, Permadoor, said: “PVC panels for the moment still dominate the retail market. But cost differential between a PVC-U and a composite door is narrowing and combined with a far stronger aesthetic, the balance is shifting towards composite products, albeit at a slightly more conservative pace than first projected. This presents a real opportunity for those entering the market now.”

Published separately, figures released by D&G Consulting late last year in its Window Profile Industry Market and Forecast Report to 2012, report that economic downturn in 2008/09 flattened growth in composite door sales up to the end of 2010. However, it projects continuing growth in volumes this year and next to 760,000 and 780,000 units respectively across sectors. This also tallies broadly with findings of attitudinal research commissioned by Permadoor with many of those dual supplying PVC-U and composite doors, predicting that sales of the latter would replace sales of the former in their entirety within the next seven to 10 years “sooner if prices dropped.” Collett continued: “Growth in the composite door market clearly slowed in the downturn but the point is it has grown and continues to grow, the aesthetic and quality is just so good. And slightly slower growth gives those installers and fabricators who aren’t yet supplying composite doors an opportunity to join a retail market that although still very much in its infancy is by implication full of opportunity.”

Permadoor which has enjoyed a reputation as an established supplier to the commercial sector for almost three decades launched its dedicated composite door trade offer last year, bringing an expanded and fully accredited product range to installers and trade fabricators. Developed specifically for the trade, the composite door specialists Reflections range boasts 12 different styles, an extensive choice of glass, hardware and finishes plus a full list of accreditations, including optional Secured by Design and fire rated specifications. An Epwin Group company all doors supplied by Permadoor come complete with a fully reinforced 70mm PVC-U outer frame, a full multipoint locking system including cylinder, keeps and handles, plus choice of fully suited hardware. They also feature a full ten year guarantee from the date of installation.

Collett concluded: “We believe that we have a great product and a good service and support offer. We’re supplying a quality specification, will deliver it when we say we will and if for any reason things aren’t absolutely spot on, we’ll be there on the end of a phone and are committed to doing our utmost to put it right. We’re coming to this with a lot of experience and security but remain flexible. Our focus is cited firmly on a commitment to work with our customers to shape an offer that they want – not a one size fits all approach. It’s an exciting time for Permadoor as a business, our customers and the composite door market in general.”

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