Short-term gains, long-term pain: avoiding a race to the bottom in windows

Alex Page, Director of Stedek, argues that undermining premium brands hurts everyone in the long run.

In today’s window industry, we’re lucky enough to have a vast range of quality, stylish products to choose from.

It’s a level of choice that my dad could’ve only dreamed of when he started Stedek thirty years ago – a time when you could have a product in any colour you liked, as long as it was white.

We’re extremely lucky that systems companies have invested millions in achieving higher quality, better performance and more stylish aesthetics.

Some of that investment has gone into the actual process of product designing and manufacture. Some of it has gone into creating premium brands that homeowners want to buy.

And everyone in the sector has benefitted. It’s created lucrative opportunities to sell premium products that have helped thousands of businesses thrive and grow.

That’s why it’s hugely important we don’t take any of this for granted, or undermine everything these suppliers have worked so hard to achieve.

During the pandemic, home improvement was in the very lucky position to be in one of the few sectors where business boomed.

Last year, for the first time since the arrival of covid, demand significantly slowed. It meant 2023 was a harder year than the sector has experienced in a while.

With the government announcing we’re officially now in recession, it’s likely 2024 will be just as challenging, if not more so.

In tougher times, there will always be a temptation to race to the bottom on price. Those that choose that strategy may even find it benefits them in the short-term.

However, that approach harms everyone in the long run. When manufacturers start selling premium products at rock bottom prices, it risks destroying those brands, and companies’ ability to benefit from them.

I hope fabricators throughout the industry remember that in the months ahead.

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