Pro Installer December 2021 - Issue 105 - Page 42

Business
42 | DECEMBER 2021

Business

Read online at www . proinstaller . co . uk

INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATING FAST , SAYS INSIGHT DATA

Insight Data , the glazing industry research and data company , has reported another decline in companies active in the market .
The latest 2021 report shows some stark facts and figures that were presented at the recent Glazing Summit Conference by Insight Data ’ s CEO , Andrew Scott .
But it ’ s not all bad news says Alex Tremlett , Insight ’ s Operations Manager , who points to consolidation creating further opportunities in the industry .
Alex commented ; “ Andrew announced at the Glazing Summit some interesting trends which point to some realignment in the industry . The number of firms has declined , but this creates less competition and could be good for the industry .”
The number of fabricators and installers has dropped below 14,000 firms for the first time on record . Indeed , over the last two years ( October 2019 to October 2021 ) a staggering 709 firms have been removed from the Insight database .
Some of these have gone bust , but many have simply retired and
Number of PVC-U Fabricators
closed their doors , the impact of the pandemic being the final straw . Others have been the subject of a takeover or merger , particularly as companies utilise low-level acquisitions as a way of acquiring staff and resources .
PVC-U Fabricator Decline
The most striking figures show a significant drop in the number of PVC-U fabricators . Over the last ten years ( 2011 to 2021 ) this has reduced year-on-year from 1,860 firms to just 1,195 – a drop of 35 %.
The three primary reasons for this are ;
• Companies ceasing to fabricate to focus on installation / supply only
• Mergers and acquisitions as companies acquire competitors
• Business failure , most recently Sash UK , Total Glass and Indigo Products
While some capacity has been absorbed by the existing manufacturers who have increased production output , the drop in fabricators has resulted in less supplier choice for those buying in frames , and reduced competition among fabricators .
It should be noted that while the number of PVC-u fabricators has declined , the number of aluminium fabricators has increased by 18 % from 750 to 884 over the same 10-year period – with many PVC-U fabricators now adding aluminium to their portfolio of products .
Installers at the sharp end
The number of installers across the UK has steadily increased year-on-year until 2017 , when the trend reversed . This was driven mainly by owner retirement , but also through a string of mergers / acquisitions and the collapse of several firms .
There are now 12,209 specialist double glazing installers on the Insight database . Most have now diversified , offering a wider range of windows and doors , conservatories and other home improvement products .
Despite the move to online sales experienced by many industries , installers with showrooms appear to be faring better than ever , and indeed many are investing in new and improved showrooms to demonstrate a wider portfolio of products .
Insight Data tracks in-depth installer information , including which systems they use , product volumes , financial data , showrooms and other information .
It is interesting to note that despite extremely difficult supply-chain issues , most installers remained with their existing suppliers . Loyalty may be a factor , but lack of supplier choice may be another as fabricators reach capacity and turn-away new customers .
While order books and sales remain strong , labour shortages and supply-chain issues have resulted in most installers having much larger pipelines and extended lead-times , at a time when material pricing is very unstable .
Number of window and door installers
Builder-Installers
While the number of double glazing firms has declined , there is a rising movement among general builders now focusing directly on windows and doors and providing homeowners with extensions and other home improvements .
In fact , within the Insight Data ‘ Local Builders Database ’ over 10,400 builders say they actively advertise or promote windows and doors and so in reality , we have over 22,000 firms selling windows , doors and conservatories , many of which source their supplies through builders merchants and trade-counters , not necessarily directly from fabricators .

less competition in the marketplace may prove beneficial for all concerned

Conclusion
From a fabricator and installer perspective the industry is consolidating , with fabrication capacity reducing at a time when demand among homeowners has increased . Coupled with supply-chain issues and labour shortages the sector has faced the ‘ perfect storm .’
However , with signs of the supply-chain improving and consumer demand predicted to continue in 2022 , less competition in the marketplace may prove beneficial for all concerned .
This is an extract from the full Insight Data
Report 2021 , which will be available shortly . Interested parties can register to receive a copy at www . insightdata . co . uk / reports /