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Exterior Door Sector in Western Europe Hit Hard by Crisis

The market for exterior doors in Western Europe is being severely shaken by the COVID 19 crisis. Sales volumes are expected to fall by more than 10% in both 2020 and 2021. A slight recovery is not expected until 2022, as shown in a study by Interconnection Consulting. Even if the market for exterior doors can reverse this downward trend in 2022, the market volume will still be well below the pre-crisis level in 2023. The market will shrink by an average of 1.5% until 2023, based on the pre-crisis level. The forecasts show that the current crisis will lead to a stronger contraction in economic performance across Europe than the financial crisis in 2009, with Western European countries being more affected by the downturn than Eastern Europe. The Timing of Recovery Varies Countries particularly affected by the pandemic, such as Italy, Spain and Great Britain, will suffer the highest relapses. Housing volumes in Western Europe will fall by 12.7% in 2020 and by a further 13.5% in 2021. The low point will be reached in most countries in 2021. However, the Interconnection study also shows that countries such as Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal are not expected to reach the low point of the negative spiral in residential construction - the most important market for exterior doors - until 2022. Aluminium Sets the Tone In the materials sector for exterior doors, aluminum sets the tone with a market share of 30.0%. Aluminum doors have benefited from the increasing popularity, especially in the residential construction segment, in recent years and will continue to expand their market position in the coming years of the crisis. PVC doors are in second place with a share of 25.9%, and thanks to their competitive price-performance ratio, they will be able to maintain their market shares. Overall, residential construction is the strongest customer for exterior doors with 71.4%. In this segment, PVC is in first place and aluminum at eye level, with wooden doors also contributing to around a quarter of sales. In non-residential construction, however, aluminum clearly dominates with a share of 36.2%. The study for the Western European exterior door market analyses 15 countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Portugal).

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Pause for breath for Europe’s Residential Construction

In many parts of Europe the Corona-Pandemic was not the trend changer for the residential construction sector but an accelerator for a becoming apparent cool down. Building completions will drop by 9,3% in 2020 in the analyzed countries and are expected to record deep double digit negative growth (-13,3%) in 2021 as shown by the latest study from Interconnection Consulting.   Germany working off order books   Construction stops, security- and hygienic restrictions as well as a lack of work force due to closed borders are the reason for the bad mood of the construction industry and the declining investment readiness. While in countries like Germany and Austria the downturn has been herald, countries like France and the Nordics already expected a cool down of the residential construction activity despite COVID-19.  A specific of Germany is that for years the number of building completions cannot keep pace with permits. “Construction companies are recording full order books. Consequently the recession in Germany does not hit the industry as hard as there is still a lot of work to handle” explains Ernst Rumpeltes, author of the study. Accordingly the number of building permits exceeded the completions by over 50.000 dwellings the last few years. Building permits are expected to decline by 14,6% this year. The biggest drop on permits will be recorded in Italy (-36,7%) which has been strongly hit by the crisis. Similarly the situation in Poland and Hungary where residential building permits are expected to decline by  over 20%.     A case can be made for multi-storey buildings   Even though building permits are dropping in Poland, the decline of building completions is the lowest compared to the rest of Europe. On the other end of the scale Italy and Spain can be found – the two countries hit hardest by the pandemic. In contrast to detached- and semidetached houses, multi-storey buildings still benefit from rising urbanization and housing shortage in metropolises. Especially in Germany this trend can be observed where the share of completed apartments increased from 36,7% in 2008 up to 60,6% in 2019.  

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Despite the Crisis, Prefabricated Houses are on the Rise Across Europe

The dramatic crash of the construction industry due to the Corona crisis can be felt in all EU countries and will also affect the prefabricated house sector. The prefabricated house market in Europe will therefore decline by 9.7% this year. After a further decrease in 2021, the market is expected to recover in 2022. Despite the drastic decline, the quota for prefabricated houses will increase across Europe, as shown in a study by Interconnection Consulting. Throughout Europe, the prefabricated house rate will increase from 12.1% to 13.0% in 2020. In Western Europe, the rate will increase from 15.3% to 16.6% this year. The prefabricated house ratio is also set to increase marginally, reaching 7.5% in Eastern Europe. The trend, which has led to a steadily growing proportion of prefabricated houses in Europe for years, will continue during the Corona phase. Italy and Russia are two of the few countries with a negative development in the number of prefabricated houses in 2020. The country with the largest percentage of prefabricated houses is Sweden, with 81.3%. Contrary to the Europe-wide trend, sales of the prefabricated house industry in Germany will increase by 4.8%. In Austria too, a growth of 4.8% is expected this year. The largest growth rate during the Corona phase is expected in Spain. Between 2020 and 2023, Interconnection forecasts an average annual increase of 7.5%. The Proportion of Single-Family Houses Continues to Grow The European prefabricated house market is clearly characterized by single-family houses. With a market share of 75.1%, they dominate the market and show the lowest negative market growth compared to two-family houses (-10.6%) and multi-storey residential buildings (-19.2%), with a decrease of only 7.3%. Croatia has the highest single-family house rate for prefabricated houses at 95.5%. For comparison, the rate is 84.5% in Austria and 88.4% in Germany. Compared to most European countries, prefabricated multi-storey residential buildings are very popular in Denmark and represent 39.2% of the market. Turnkey Solutions are Taking Up In general, the shell finished and turnkey houses are developing better than floor covering houses. Overall, turnkey expansion is already dominating in many places. In Spain, the sales share of turnkey solutions is 86.3%. Turnkey solutions are also the most popular in Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, France, Great Britain and Italy. In Germany, however, the floor covering houses are just ahead. In Croatia, on the other hand, turnkey solutions are not at all popular and hold only 2.2% of the market. Cultural differences have a great impact on the construction method. While solid construction is an exception in Sweden and timber frame construction dominates with a share of 95.2%, it is conversely the solid construction that accounts for the lion's share in Croatia with 87.9%. In Germany, solid construction shows a lower increase compared to timber frame construction. According to the study, solid construction is expected to increase in Austria, if only slightly.              

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As stroller market shrinks, parents look for innovative solutions at reasonable prices

For the second year in a row, the European strollers market have decreased by -0,9% in 2019 as a recent study by Interconnection Consulting shows. Interconnection predicts that the market will loose on average -1,8% units per year until 2023, in part due to a strong decline in 2020 in part offset by an increase in 2021. Only in France and Northern Europe, the study recognized an increase in quantity sold, while the German and Spanish markets declined for the first time in the last 5 years and the UK market failed to rebound after a sluggish 2018.   Parents more sensitive to prices as competition intensifies Average prices  failed to grow in 2019 for the first time since the 2010 crisis. Parents have become more sensitive to price differences in the high-end premium segment as competition to gain shares in this segment has increased in the last 3 years. The high-end segment (>1000) lost  shares again in 2019 in part due to the impact of second-hand market, while shares of strollers in the medium-range (250€-500€) have now reached 33,7% quantity shares.  The temporary fall in demand caused by the COVID-19 crisis is forcing producers to offer one-off sales in the first part of 2020. As a consequence, total turnover is expected to fall below 800 million Euros in the next 3 years. Lighter, cabin-proofed stroller on the rise…  before and after COVID-19 The rise of ultra-light compact in the last few years has been astonishing and more companies are now offering this type of solution. Interconnection expects this segment to grow further in the long-term by taking shares from both compact and buggies, but the COVID19 crisis could reduce their  demand until  travel restrictions are lifted. “This crisis have been put a lot of pressure on the strollers industry in the first half of 2020 and has the potential to modify parents’ approach to mobility and their consumer preferences”.  Comfort is the product group with the largest share (42,8%) and overperformed in 2018, reflecting also the rising shares of multi-travel systems. COVID19 favors the long-term rise of online sales Growing trend for online sales set forth and this channel have now reached a market share of 25,8%. Their growth rate is expected to rise even stronger  in 2020, as the off-line channel has been heavily impacted by the current crisis in some countries were forced to restructure due to financial problems. Especially, sales through boutiques and mass market will keep declining in the next 3 years.  Market concentration have been decreasing in the last few years as some newcomers have gained shares and the trend has been confirmed in 2019 with the top 10 companies controlling now 35% of the total market. Three of the largest companies are Artsana, Britax and Dorel.

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Leading Companies trust in Interconnection Consulting


At the IC Impulsworkhop "Sales Optimization" we appreciate not only the practical relevance, but also the eloquent language and the perfect rhetoric. The most important benefit for our company was the sales pipeline. Adrian Capellarie (Head of Sales Admonter Holzindustrie)

Deutscher Holzfertigbau Verband

Interconnection provides us with the prefabricated house study a plausible and veritable data basis for the analysis of the actual situation in the prefabricated house market and beyond for the assessment of the future market development. We are happy to use this interpreted data for our lobbying and everyday work.

Thomas Schäfer (Managing Director, Deutscher Holzfertigbau-Verband)


The prefabricated housing study by Interconnection Consulting shows a real picture of the actual market situation and forms a valuable basis for our strategic decisions.

Gerhard Schuller (CFO ELK)


EPSON is satisfied with the Interconnection's way of communication with the market and with clients. EPSON is also appriciate the Interconnection's continuous work trying to aim the report to be at the higher level. As a result, EPSON rely on Interconnection data, for the market of POS Printers and Systems.

T.Murakami (Brand Management, Seiko Epson Corporation)


I appreciate on the forum "Impulsworkshop Vertriebsoptimierung" the practical relevance of Peter Berger linked with his practical examples. I also liked the sovereign presentation style. The most important benefit was for me, on the one hand refresh of methods and also the sales management tools that were shown. Ing. Dietmar Hammer (Head of Product Management Gaulhofer)


The most important benefit of the Impulsworkshop "sales optimization" was in my view the procedure of the definition of strengths and the entire sales process. Mr. Berger is very competent and professional. Fabian Freund (Sales Manager, Kontron Austria)

Österreichs Personaldienstleister

The sales management tool ZAIS has become indispensable for many Austrian temporary staffing providers for fast and correct sales management decisions. A tailor-made online cockpit provides comprehensive monthly figures and data on temporary work and the labor market in Austria, while at the same time impressing with its overview and intuitive user guidance. Interconnection Consulting has consider individually to all user needs during development process and also convinces with fast response times during operation.

Dr. Gertraud Höltl (Generalsekretärin Österreichs Personal Dienstleister)

Saint Gobain

Long experience and deep understanding of the construciton industry markets make up the quality of the IC studies. Interconnection Consulting is a constant companion concerning the assessment of markets and helpful for decision-making.

Bernd Blümmers (Directeur General, Saint-Gobain Solar Systems, Central Europe, Aachen)


Interconnection Consulting reports deliver a worthfull external perspective and are so a good contrast with regards to our internal market point of views.

Pedro Posada (CEO Salamander Industrial Products Spain)

Scandinavian Business Seating

The IC Report gives a very good overview of the Western European office furniture market, in a well-structured way. The data is helpful to better understand the market developments and drivers.

Beatrice Sotelo (Director Business Development , Scandinavian Business Seating)

Schneider Electric

Under a short time constraint, Interconnection was able to deliver an outstanding study that exceeded my expectation in terms of quality and market breadth. I highly recommend Interconnection to anyone in need of market research.

Jeff Canterberry (Director of Strategy and M&A, Schneider Electric)


When developing new market strategies, Interconnection is a trusted source we always come back to. Christian Frey (Marketing Manager CS DACH)

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