September 26, 2007 | Vol 2, Num 38
W&D Weekly, Delivering the Fenestration Industry to Your Desktop

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Introduce Your Staff

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The Latest...

Gienow to Go Private with Acquisition
by Equity Group
Canada's Gienow Group has entered an agreement with Miami-based H.I.G. Capital to acquire the business... read more

Residential Growth for Door Manufacturer
Marshfield DoorSystems has acquired Precision Architectural Corp.’s automated door manufacturing line in Largo, Fla... read more

Albat+Wirsam Launches Glaston Partnership
Software supplier Albat+Wirsam officially launched its partnership with the Glaston Group earlier this month at GlassBuild... read more

Edge Seal Has New Name
Intigral Inc. is the new name for Edge Seal Technologies, the Ohio-based manufacturer of insulating glass units... read more

Bilco Co. Consolidates Operations
The Bilco Co. will shift some manufacturing operations to its Zanesville, Ohio, facility, adding as many as 30 jobs... read more

The Outside View...

... read more

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The Talk...

Is the window and door market splitting into high- and low-end segments, with little in between?
Yes, and we're targeting the upscale segment.
Yes, and we're focused on the low-cost/good-design approach.
No, we see the middle segment doing just fine.

If poll form doesn't work in your email, Click Here.

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John Swanson,
associate publisher of Window & Door

Last week, I had the privilege to speak at a gathering of Pella’s engineering team. The group’s focus was innovation, and the list of speakers included an interesting guy—Paul Leinberger.

A marketing and branding guru, Leinberger said that innovation is no longer a competitive edge, but a consumer expectation. To get noticed at all, he suggested, companies need to be innovative in comparison with every other company out there in the world, not just compared to competitors in their category.

Leinberger observed that “mid-range product” was disappearing. Pointing to the steady decline of retailers like Sears and J.C. Penney, he said consumers are gravitating to the high end and/or low cost supplier. Pointing to Target specifically, he says the trend has been encouraged in part by the fact that more companies are successfully combining low cost with good design.

Of course, it made me wonder whether it’s happening in the window and door arena, so I thought I’d ask in this week’s poll. As usual, I’d love to get your input. Is “better” being taken out of the good, better, best line-up? We’ve certainly seen some manufacturers go increasingly upscale. And we know there are companies out there with low-cost products.
Email me and let me know your thoughts.

RESULTS AND COMMENTS FROM LAST WEEK'S POLL—"In the retirement benefit arena, my company...:": It seems traditional pension plans are going extinct. To view the results of our retirement Talk from last week,
click here.
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