When The Going Gets Tough Look For Positives

There is no doubt that 2023 is proving harder than 2022, with many in glass and glazing saying the market is around 15%-20% down on last year, yet there are some positives, writes Steve Winslet.

Winslet is group MD of Victorian Sliders.

For a more rigorous assessment, we can look to the Construction Products Association (CPA) which is predicting a 6.4% drop in overall construction output in 2023 that is blamed on last year’s disastrous mini-budget, interest rates reaching a 14-year high, rising mortgage rates, falling real incomes and a cost-of-living. Al these factors have combined to produce a sharp drop in demand.


Not all doom

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. While the decline is steep, it’s predicted to be less severe than 2008, 2012 and 2020. Also, before the current market instability, construction output was at the highest level in history.

For many businesses, the huge demand produced by the first phase of post-pandemic bordered on unmanageable.

It is possible that a moderate downturn may actually provide time and space to recover from that disruption, and be more streamlined and efficient moving forward.

What’s more, the CPA is predicting that the decline in repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) will be less severe – offset, researchers suggest, by strong demand for products that can improve energy efficiency.

In other words, while a shrinking market is hardly good news for UK glass and glazing, there’s likely to be continuing demand for products that can offer high energy efficiency, giving us a route to continuing success.


High-end not affected

We also know from experiences of previous recessions that while some sections of the population see incomes squeezed, the higher end of the market is much less affected.

At Victorian Sliders, we feel we’re excellently placed to support our customers through a more challenging 2023. ECOSlide is extremely versatile – its sash window aesthetics are highly sought after at the higher end of the market, where consumers still have money to spend.

It’s increasingly winning attention in the new-build sector, meaning ECOSlide customers have two potential avenues for selling them and aren’t solely reliant on residential RMI. And it’s also highly thermally efficient, meaning they’re able to capitalise on growing demand for energy efficiency.


Picture: Sash window sales should stay strong despite an economic downturn, says Victorian Sliders MD Steve Winslet.


Article written by Steve Winslet, group MD, Victorian Sliders.
14th September 2023


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