COVID-19 Aside, the Industry’s Health is Strong Heading Into 2021

By Nick St. Denis

The year 2020 has been, well, 2020. A monumental pandemic and a contentious U.S. election (though what’s new there?) were just two of the significant factors at play in an economy and fenestration market that had otherwise been on an ascending path. COVID-19, in particular, struck a devastating blow to the economy, most notably in the middle part of the year, and its effects were felt practically everywhere. Despite those facts, preliminary results from [DWM] and Key Media & Research’s annual industry outlook study suggest that the fenestration market remained mostly resilient throughout 2020 and is ready to take on 2021—including whatever challenges it may pose.

2020 Sales vs. 2019 Sales

Despite the obvious challenges posed in 2020, the industry is reporting stellar year-over-year sales numbers. Nearly half (46.2%) of Outlook respondents say their sales increased by 10% or more in 2020 compared to the previous year, and another 21.2% also report an increase of less than 10%. As one manufacturer notes: “We have seen unprecedented growth throughout the past six months from current and new dealers that has not slowed down,” adding that this has continued into the fourth quarter despite the looming election. Despite mostly positive accounts, nearly one of every five (19.2%) industry members are reporting sales decreases from 2019 to 2020.

Current Business Environment

The industry holds a cautiously optimistic view of the current business environment, though much hinges on COVID-19. Nearly three-quarters (73.1%) of Outlook respondents say the current business environment is somewhat favorable, with many hoping the worst of the pandemic is behind us. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty throughout the industry regarding COVID-19’s continued effects and how much longer they will persist. Political unrest also remains at the forefront of many industry members’ minds. One manufacturer looks forward to “getting past the 2020 election to give a sense of knowing what to expect from our leaders.” However, that same respondent is “concerned that our leaders from both sides of the aisle will not finally put their differences aside, work together as one America and do what’s right for the American people—including all businesses, large and small.”

More to Come

As the fourth quarter rolls on, [DWM] will continue its annual outlook research, with the final report released in time for the start of the New Year. Stay tuned for that announcement. The 2021 Door and Window Industry Outlook will be available for purchase in December at

2021 Sales vs. 2020 Sales

Looking ahead, the door and window industry has a positive outlook. “[There is] still lots of sales opportunity in new construction and remodeling,” says one dealer. “Architects are busy, so work should keep coming our way.” Nearly eight of every ten industry members (78.4%) anticipate sales increases in 2021 versus 2020, with half of those expecting increases of 10% or more. “We have secured a significant amount of new business that will launch in 2021,” says one extruder, “and our current customers expect to have a year-over-year growth rate of 10 to 15% or greater in many areas.” Another manufacturer adds that the next 12 months “will continue to be record-setting” for their company.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

DWM Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *