We have seen over the past couple of years we have seen a gradually bigger interest build up in the double glazing market over the water in (Republic of) Ireland. In fact there are now British profilers opening up plants over there, and industry favorite Solidor has been over there quite a bit really, promoting their products to a brand new audience.
So could there be some life in the Celtic Tiger economy? On the face of it probably not. The country had to be bailed out a few years ago and there has been a spectacular property collapse which has forced countless bankruptcies. But, this was a few years ago, and the murmors coming out of the country seem to indicate that money might start to be flowing again in certain places.
On the face of it, the window and door industry has a lot of similarities. For example, UAP have now started selling their cylinders over there as the lock snapping problem has jumped countries and Ireland does use a lot of euro-profile cylinders. Interest is high in composite products, like composite doors, and could certainly be a sector for growth, similar to the way it has exploded here in the UK.
Construction is slowly getting back on it’s feet and as with any new building, it is going to need windows and doors to fill the holes. Companies here in the UK have spotted this new potential and quite rightly are now making steady inrodes into the Irish Market. And it’s a good plan. Competition over here is fierce and years of mis-selling and weak prices have forced margins into the ground. Ireland however, provides a much less crowded market where good profits could be made if products can be marketed and sold correctly.
Ireland has always made a nice trade partner. It’s not exactly far away compared to the rest of Europe or further afield. And there has always been a strong connection with Britain (not always good) for hundreds of years. It might be a prudent move for companies with willing bank balances to maybe invest in a few places over there to try and capture a growing market share and a piece of an economy which is showing more positive signs. You never know, Ireland could become a huge stomping ground for some of our major British fenestration companies!