Windows of opportunity

1. Entrance door dollar share by channel:

Warehouse home centers dominate in the entrance door and doorknob/lock categories. They dominate in replacement windows, too, but at least the other channels are within closing distance.

That’s one of the findings from consumer research conducted by Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group.

The big boxes have 35.0 percent of the dollar share in replacement windows, followed by specialty stores with 17.0 percent (See chart 3.) In entrance doors and doorknobs, the big home centers have more than half of the market (See charts 1 and 2), though that domination cracked slightly in the door category from 2007 to 2008.

Where are they buying?

According to Matt Fortsch, account executive for NPD Group, replacement windows stand out as a category where the lead of the big boxes is less pronounced, creating opportunity for all channels (including the big boxes).

As for product attributes, vinyl still reigns as the material of choice for replacement windows by a large majority (See chart 6). But aluminum and wood both increased their market share in 2008, while vinyl declined 5.0 percentage points.

In doorknobs, the story is two words: “aged bronze,” which jumped from 2.7 percent of unit share in 2007 to 14.3 percent in 2008 (See chart 5). And as steel doors and fiberglass doors declined about 4 percentage points each, wood doors jumped from 22.4 percent to 31.6 percent in 2008 (See chart 4).

Where are they buying?

As far as purchase motivators, price was at the top of all three categories as reason for purchase, as usual. But the data present an interesting story when it comes to the value of a brand. “Trusted brand” as a purchase factor in the doorknob/lock category was seen as the main motivator by 24 percent of consumers, compared to 13 percent for windows and 15 percent for entrance doors.

At the same time, consumers appeared willing to drive further to shop for the right windows. Only 10 percent of window purchasers listed “Close to home” as a reason for selecting a retailer, compared to 24 percent of doorknob/lock purchasers.


Specialty stores have found a sweet spot in the Northeast. Of total dollars spent in specialty stores on windows, 43.9 percent were spent in the Northeast.

The exterior keyed entry/deadbolt set accounts for the biggest unit share in door lock/knob types, with 37 percent. Interior locking is second with 24 percent.

Double hung windows grew market share to 57.1 percent in 2008, up from 50.0 percent in the previous 12-month period.

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