The New Look Bowater

Bowater was back in style at the FIT Show, giving the industry a chance to see how Birtley Group is bringing back a well-respected brand. Kevin Kiernan told Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell at the show to explain more.

Almost everyone visiting the FIT Show would know the Bowater name but many were either surprised to see us back, or were pleased for the opportunity to see exactly what the new look Bowater by Birtley consisted of. The feedback we had was better than we’d anticipated.

It’s no secret that the Bowater brand has had a rocky past, but we proved at the FIT Show that this is well and truly behind us. Birtley Group brings with it the resources, the technological know-how, and years of experience in doors – already producing 900 doors a week for the new build and commercial markets – to bring Bowater back in the right way.

Having acquired Bowater doors over 18 months ago, Birtley Group took its time to integrate the system into the factory in County Durham, ensure the entire product range was right, make sure the considerable sales team were up to speed with the new products, and have the relevant marketing materials for the all-encompassing range ready to go.

Only once this was all in place did we want to launch to the market. This preparation, along with our planned gradual market entry, will ensure that the new Bowater by Birtley is a brand customers can rely on once more.

The product the market is definitely most excited to see return is our double rebate 68mm door. Lots of visitors to our stand at FIT said they had missed it because there just wasn’t a suitable alternative available. They’re ‘getting by’ with other products but the lead times are unworkable to make the most of the opportunities the double rebate door brings.

For consumers who want something a little warmer, more secure and generally more substantial, it’s great to have the double rebate option in your armoury. It’s also a much-needed point of differentiation for an increasingly competitive door market.

Similarly, we received a lot of interest in the array of colours we had on display on the stand. With 12 doors on show, we were able to demonstrate the more subtle pastel shades as well as the more traditional black and brown, while showcasing our in-house paint capabilities with three doors colour matched to our bright Bowater by Birtley logo.   

Overall, the market seemed pleasantly surprised with the new Bowater by Birtley range covering single and double rebate doors, a vast array of colours as well as our fire and storm door options, and were pleased that we are fully up and running and ready to take orders for this wide range of products.

Our successful presence at FIT was reassuring to those who had heard we were back but didn’t know what to expect, as was shown in the number of quality leads we took away from the show.

We’re ready to be put to the test by fabricators and installers who are looking for something a little different and we’re looking forward to proving that this time, the Bowater brand is back for good.

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