Insight Data report suggests how the industry may be surviving through coronavirus pandemic

In December last year, Insight Data published a review of 2019 for the PVC-U fabrication industry. 190 of the top fabricators across the UK were telephoned and asked questions about their business and the wider industry. Here Jade Greenhow looks back at the report results and explains how the events of the last ten months may suggest that diversification may have become a popular solution for many fabricators.

“Despite what we know now about the way 2020 has turned out, back then, many felt that the fenestration industry was in the throes of a difficult process of evolution. One of the key topics of interest was how diversification of materials or products was helping fabricators to be more successful.”

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“Although a decline in UK fabricators has been happening since 2008, the 2019 report showed that the remainder of the industry remained strong. As of the end of 2019, 23% of PVC-U fabricators had adopted aluminium into their portfolios. Aluminium continued its surge into the domestic market with high-end products such as bi-fold doors and sliding doors.”

“PVC-U high-end products were also popular. Vertical sliders and flush casements were (and continue to be) in-vogue alongside recent developments in more colours and foils than ever before. This innovation demonstrates the adaptability of the fenestration sector.”

“Duel sourcing was on the increase with 23% of businesses polled fabricating both PVC and aluminium. However, PVC was still king with 73%.”

“Our key takeaway 10 months later is that diversification is an increasing feature of the fabrication industry” comments Jade Greenhow. “With PVC-U products accounting for such a high proportion of industry output, we wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see evidence of an increase in duel sourcing throughout 2020. During the first national lockdown, the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) market for domestic housing spiked as consumers invested in their own homes. This will have created more demand for in-vogue products, so expect to see more companies diversifying into this market in the future.”

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