Central Window Systems, Conservatory Outlet, Listers, Roseview, Prefix Systems and Solar-Frame have all called for an end to the continuing price increases being introduced across the home improvement supply chain – particularly during a time in which consumer demand is down and is predicted to remain there.
The issue appears to be a top-to-bottom issue across the industry – higher prices at the top are being pushed down the supply chain and have a knock-on effect on all sections of the chain. Gary Morton, managing Director of Central Windows Systems, stated: “this isn’t just affecting us, but our industry as a whole and we must be as transparent as possible to act in the best interest of the entire sector. If these price rises continue, and are again forced down the supply chain, consumers will simply not engage.”
The recent proposal of price increases from the top of the chin are due to take place in September and would happen just as the energy cap is set to rise again, with manufacturers and retailers set to be stuck in the middle. Morton added: “enforcing more price increases during a market slowdown is entirely counterproductive and will do more harm than good in both the short and long-term.”
The industry response certainly appears to have been a short-term solution: whilst the industry has stayed afloat during a time of low consumer demand during the past two years, the drive for home improvements is finally predicted to increase. The rising energy prices, coupled with the ongoing cost of living crisis, has meant many homeowners are now looking to the home improvement sector to offer energy-saving solutions. The desire for energy-efficient window installations, insulation solutions and long-term sustainable housing is all predicted to rise in response to the cost-of-living crisis.
The proposed price increases risk exacerbating a suppressed market and could be catastrophically counterintuitive to campaigns promoting the financial viability of purchasing new, energy-efficient windows and doors. The industry risks missing out on the opportunity to get profits back on track and boost the industry again by pricing homeowners out of energy-efficient upgrades.
It appears as though those short-term negative effects are now giving way to the long-term impact of pushing price rises down the supply chain. Greg Kane, CEO of Conservatory Outlet, has explained the drive behind the calls for the price increases to cease: “We’ve seen prices increase at exponential rates over the last two years and this has continued into 2022. The determination has always been there to shield our customers from these price hikes, absorbing what we can through improved efficiencies, working creatively with our supply partners and passing on what we must. We’ve held the line and absorbed all incoming increases throughout 2022 but there obviously reaches a point when this becomes unsustainable.”
The group calls for “those at the top of the chain to listen to the voice of consumer-led businesses and explore ways of absorbing some of the increases without passing them on”, says Chris Cooke, the managing director of Prefix Systems. Concluding the groups’ statements, Cooke reiterates that “it is undeniably a tough trading environment, but this is a case of ensuring the longevity and long-term success of the sector”. The continued encouragement for energy-efficient solutions is poised to sweep the home-improvement industry: it is vital that the industry doesn’t price itself out just as the end of the issue could be near.