Direct Doors imageThis is an image of a before and after door installation done by Direct Doors based in Warrington. They posted this picture on Twitter with this text: Oak upvc back door £380 fitted! Contact us now #warrington #Cheshire, and this is exactly what is wrong with our industry.

£380 for a door is frankly a ridiculous price to be selling a fitted door. At first I thought that this might have been a one-off. Maybe this was a mis-measure that the guy was just using and doing the client a favour. But when I looked back at their Twitter timeline, they had been posting tweets advertising fitted doors from £350.

I think its safe to say the majority of people reading this will agree that £380 for a door is way, WAY, too low. No profit would have been made on this job. No commission. No VAT or any other costs. In fact, that £380 is going to be stretched to pay for the materials alone. If I were selling that door, it would come in around the £1k mark. I sat down and worked out how they could have come to that cost and how they could run their business on those sort of principles – and came up with no reasonable answers, other than he should have studied business at school a bit better.

On a different but unrelated matter, there is a larger trend that has been revealed this week. If you noticed, some of the biggest retailers in the country embarked on some very early and massive discounting campaigns. Whereas some, like Next, held their nerve right until the very end, limiting any sales promotions – the results have been staggering. Next have reported massive profits, way up on previous estimates. In fact they have so much cash they’re having to give away extra dividends as they have no functional use for that money. But other retailers which carried out big discounting have been hit badly, like Debenhams. They have had to issue a profit warning they performed that badly. All retailers who discounted before Christmas have all reported poor profit and sales figures. The lesson here? Discounting never really works, and will cause damage.

The same applies to this industry. At my place we never do discounts or sales. The price is the price, and that way we maintain a healthy profit margin. I can guarantee that in a door priced at £380 there won’t be a single penny profit. Quite frankly, that company should be ashamed and embarrassed that they thought posting such a ridiculous tweet was a good thing. It makes a mockery of our industry which is trying to shake off the cheap and cheerful tag, to try and become somewhat more respected. £380 doors will not make any customer respect them. This is exactly what is wrong with our industry.

All comments on this stupid tweet and stupid price are very much welcome in the section below!