Window and Door Industry Study Re-examines Big Box Retailers

The 2003 Window and Door Distribution Channel Study, conducted by the Ducker Research Co., examines the impact of the big box retailers versus traditional distribution channels. The study, jointly sponsored by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), separates residential distribution channels into six categories, including that of the big box retailer.

"After reviewing the statistics on window and door volume flowing through the big box channel-and segregating that group from lumberyards with traditional hardware departments-it appears that window sales through the big box retailer may be leveling out," said Richard Walker, executive vice president for AAMA. "In terms of numbers, the big box market share was 16 percent in 2001 and the same in the 2003 study. If the trend continues, window numbers in our 2006 study may actually decline by a percentage point."

Using the new channel definitions that set apart the big boxes, Ducker researchers take a more detailed look at the door category, separating residential entry doors from residential interior doors. According to information from AAMA, the study found that 52 percent of entry door sales by big box retailers were made to remodeling contractors, whereas the balance of total entry door sales was more evenly split between the builder and homeowner.

In addition, the study shows increased sales of windows and door products in the residential new construction market. "Coupled with a robust remodeling market, overall growth surpassed predictions," Walker said.

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