Under normal circumstances, a company holding their prices probably wouldn’t make any sort of news anywhere in glazing media. But we operate in circumstances far from normal, and in a time where almost everyone is putting their prices up by hefty amounts at least three to four times a year.
So the news that Brisant Secure have decided to hold their prices is a very rare, and honest, bit of good news on the pricing front that we have not been used to.
I wouldn’t expect anyone else to follow suit any time soon.
This is what Brisant Secure announced a couple of days ago:
The cost of our products have been affected by significant raw material increases. But we’re committed to maintaining the highest quality and specification products as competitively as possible. So, against a backdrop of price increases in the hardware sector, we’re not increasing prices at this time.
We’re absorbing some of these raw material increases by balancing the more recent currency exchange rate improvements. It is hoped that continued exchange rate increases in 2018 will offset the balance of our cost hikes.
2018 will be a great year for Brisant Secure customers with exciting product innovations and marketing support initiatives being launched. We’re pleased to be able to fully support our customers with these developments, whilst not carrying the burden of immediate cost increases.
As you may have seen, Sterling has done quite a recovery job against the Dollar and most other currencies in the past few weeks. We’re still a bit low on the Euro, but against all other advanced economies it’s gained a lot of ground.
So, one might assume that a number of the price increases blamed on currency moves in the past 18 months might start to be scaled back, thanks to the better performing Sterling. Well no.
Brisant are right to point out that raw materials prices have indeed gone up, and fairly sharply too. Major commodities such as oil, copper, zinc, nickel etc have all been rising. This has offset any gain companies might have had from the currency reprieve. Most companies will use this as reasoning for not scaling back their increases, and of course, the idea of actually lowering prices is about as alien to most as an honest DFS sofa sale.
What this does mean then is that Brisant at this moment in time appears to be the only company willing to swim against the tide and be far more honest and amenable when it comes to pricing and this particular financial decision. It also means that fabricators and installers who buy and use Brisant products need not worry about price increases from them. Kudos.
Don’t expect a trend
As I mentioned above, this won’t be the start of things to come. Brisant have always been different to most. And most will continue in the same way they have for the past couple of years.
Whenever this sort of story comes up, and especially when Brisant get mentioned, there are a few that get twitchy and irritable. I then get thrown the “commodity” argument. It seems that no matter how well Sterling continues to perform, commodity and raw material prices will always be on hand to negate the argument. However, as Brisant are demonstrating, if companies wanted to, they could freeze prices at the very least. Of course I don’t know the financial health of every company, and price increases might be necessary for some, even just to keep the lights on.
Sterling is predicted to hit around $1.45-$1.50 by the end of the year, although at the rate the Dollar is sliding it could hit that by next week. Some predict 1.20 Euro per Pound by year end also. But if the price of metals, oil etc continue to grind upwards, any positive effects for manufacturers will be offsett.
So what does that mean for the likes of fabricators and installers? Unfortunately, it’s going to mean further price increases throughout this year. It will come from all sides. Glass, hardware, PVC fabricators and syscos. No one will be immune. The burden of these increases ultimately have to fall on the consumer. Profit margins for the industry are already being squeezed as it is. Any more and we’ll be seeing companies sliding into liquidation. Although this industry is very price sensitive and always think tactics like undercutting and highly inflated discount structures are the way to go, any increases this year have to be filtered through to the home owner in a manageable way.
Have you seen your prices increases already this year? Do you think your suppliers should be following in the same footsteps as Brisant? Leave your thoughts and feedback via the comments section below.
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