The 2015 Industry Pulse: Product Trends and Innovation

33 percent of surveyed manufacturers will introduce windows that meet the new v6.0 Energy Star requirements
Emily Kay Thompson
January 28, 2015
FEATURE ARTICLE

In addition to the improved market conditions, dealers and manufacturers predict 2015 will see an uptick in purchases in general, with homeowners investing more in upscale or higher-end items.

Results from the Pulse study confirm that most industry professionals anticipate an increase in sales for all products—budget and luxury (see Figures 4A and 4B)—but foresee a bigger increase on the high-end scale. It should be noted that none of our manufacturer participants anticipate a significant decline in sales in either category, and very few expect even a slight decline.

Both dealers and manufacturers confirm the findings in regard to goods on the higher-end. Jennifer Lawler indicates that Fenessco has been selling more high-end products to homeowners in California. She says, “Our customers ask for quality and long-term durability for a better investment.”

On the manufacturing end, Bob Maynes, Mathews Brothers Co., sees similar trends on the higher-end scale. He believes it is “primarily because they have the aesthetics architects and consumers are looking for with the performance they demand at a price point that is still significantly lower than some of the national brands. People are keeping a closer eye on the budget,” he says, “and value engineering is now bringing more people to [our] higher-end brands.”

Figures 4A and 4B
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Manufacturers Look to Increase Efficiency, Expand Production

There looks to be some positive change on the horizon for manufacturers in the New Year, according to results from the annual Window & Door Industry Pulse survey. Sixty percent of surveyed manufacturers report that they plan to modernize and increase efficiency in 2015.

Second on the priority list in terms of where they will invest is expanding production capacity (see Figure 5). This aligns with other feedback from the study, namely, that only 9 percent of manufacturers do not plan to add new products to their offerings in the coming year.

Figure 5
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Product Categories

In terms of what types of products manufacturers plan to add to their lines, 33 percent of surveyed manufacturers will introduce windows that meet the new v6.0 Energy Star requirements. Vinyl windows and entry doors are also anticipated introductions. The category of “other” included products such as accessories and enhancements to existing platforms, options, aluminum windows and doors, extrusion components, tempered glass, new machine designs, and composite windows. (See Figure 6)

Figure 6
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The 2015 Industry Pulse

Main Article

Market Recap

Did 2014 live up to its expectations? Stacey Freed investigates

Terms of Improvement

Positive factors for 2015

Product Trends and Innovation

Expected introductions in the New Year

Employment Outlook

Staffing and training trends throughout the industry

Thompson is editor of Window & Door, WindowandDoor.com, and WDweekly. Write her at ethompson@glass.org.