A polarised market

The UK market for door and window fittings grew by around 3% in 2017, which is lower than in 2016, in line with slowing growth rates for the construction market as a whole, and stimulated by greater demand for higher specification products.

These are the findings of AMA Research, which also said the door and window fittings market is closely linked to the fabrication and installation markets, as well as the overall glazing industry, which is relatively mature but has seen steady growth in recent years.

The ‘Door and Window Fittings Market Report – UK 2018-2022’, published by AMA Research, concluded that polarisation is a feature of this market and this is characterised at one end by high value, high specification products and low cost, basic product ranges at the other end – with the lower value sectors of the market experiencing significant downward pressure on average prices due to increasing import penetration.

There has been little change to the product mix for door and window fittings in recent years. Locks and handles represent the two major product sectors, together accounting for over half of the fittings market, although mechanical locks have lost some share as electronic locks have become more widespread. Door closers now account for an estimated 15%, having shown stronger than average growth.

Product development tends to be influenced by a number of factors including fashion, legislation and technical issues. Higher security standards play a significant role in product development and improvement, and there is some evidence of growing demand for automation in doors and windows which may drive development in the market going forward.

Standard white hardware is declining in popularity, with finishes such as brushed chrome, brass, burnished bronze and nickel becoming more popular in the domestic sector.

In terms of supply, the UK door and window fittings market has seen a slowing of merger and acquisition activity in the last two years, following significant consolidation of suppliers in previous years, although the industry remains highly fragmented.

Due to the wide range of options, styles and applications, many companies operate in just one or a few of the product sectors within this market. Imports also continue to play a significant role in the UK door and window fittings market.

“For 2018 and beyond, forecasts indicate marginal but positive growth, based on improving housing and construction markets, although growth will be constrained by price pressure and strong competition,” said Fiona Watts of AMA Research.

Key drivers for growth are likely to be the trend to trade up to higher specification products, particularly those which offer added security features and are aimed at the commercial sector. Another major main driver for growth will be improving output levels in the private commercial construction sector and continued growth in the housing market.