Panel production halted

Panel production at Hurst Plastics
Panel production at Hurst Plastics

Phoenix Doors has announced it will stop selling PVC panel doors from mid-November 2017, marking another significant step forward for the composite door industry, since the company was a leading providers of panel doors in the UK.

Parent company UK Window Group announced the decision at the beginning of October, stating that it was the result of a strategic review of its product offering.

“Sales within the panel product category continue to be very challenging, overall the panel product sector is in decline, putting pressure on both volume and selling price, this is forecast to continue,” UK Window Group said in a letter to customers.

Haydon Statham, sales director at Cambridgeshire-based Phoenix Doors, said: “It’s a purely commercial decision, and we looked long and hard at doing this because in our heyday we were making up to 1,500 panels per week. More recently this had dropped to around 800.

“Losing panel manufacture will free up the space, time and manpower in our bigger Huntingdon factory to concentrate on rising demand for our composite doors, which we introduced in 2008. Since then, composite door sales have continued to go up and they are our future.”

Haydon said he was sad to see an end to panel production, which is what Phoenix manufacture when it was established in 1993 by Neil Peck.

“We see composite doors as a growing part of the market for the next three to five years,” he said. “Our composite door sales continue to grow rapidly with existing and new customers selling more, and there are still markets that we can tap into. It’s onward and upward for Phoenix.”

UK Window Group has recommended Hurst Plastics as an alternative supplier of door panels.

“We are obviously aware that the panel market is mature and declining and indeed we are simply taking a larger portion of a smaller pie,” Hurst Plastics’ sales director Mark Atkinson said. “That said, with coloured foils putting coloured options to the fore, together with new, more modern style options now available, it’s certainly not going down without a fight and we’re happy to continue to support it.

“Our relationship with Phoenix has always been a healthy and respectful one and they have been, and continue to be, a worthy competitor. While we are obviously proud and pleased to be chosen to support Masco with their ongoing panel supply, Neil and some of the team will be sadly missed, and I sincerely wish them all well.”