WELCOME TO THE TWO REPORT
It’s here, your go-to for industry updates, technical know how, inspirational stories and insider insights. TWO has based its business on cutting edge, industry-leading technology, but this would not be possible without you, our dealers and partners.
Join us for a monthly update and discussion inside the shutter industry. From interior to exterior and wood to aluminum, you can expect something new every month.
THE INDUSTRY’S BIGGEST SHOW REVEALS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
R+T Stuttgart is the largest window furnishing show in the world. Held every three years, it is an amazing ensemble of the biggest names, faces and innovations in our industry. With over 900 exhibitors, 70,000 visitors and a rumored $1 billion in combined show spend, there is nothing like it anywhere else on the globe.
This year was my fourth attendance at the show and TWO’s third time co-exhibiting with our longstanding friends at Rollease Acmeda. It has been amazing to watch the evolution of both our companies and if the old adage “you are the company you keep” is true, then I am certainly thankful for the blessing of their association.
In 2018, TWO brought our largest contingent yet, of both Australian and US management for what turned out to be an amazing week of team bonding, international networking and an expanded appreciation for our global industry as a whole.
Over the past 12 years, it has been interesting to see the very clear evolution-taking place in our industry. Three key insights in particular stand out:
- The internal window furnishing industry is both maturing and consolidating. I believe this is true in everything from curtains, to shades, to venetian blinds, to shutters. While there are still noteworthy innovations, the most obvious change is that so many of the smaller companies have either been bought, or have closed their doors, while the big boys have continued to gain strength through efficiency of scale and distribution channels. As demand continues to grow and there is less and less product differentiation, I expect this trend to continue for years to come.
- “Smart” everything is the craze. The world has been growing more motorized every year, but especially since the likes of Google’s “Home” and Amazon’s “Alexa” have turned up and made home automation fiscally achievable for so many more people. Manufactures and dealers alike are now now furiously trying to win market share in the smart home war. With no clear winners yet and very fragmented platforms, it will be interesting to watch this space grow and evolve.
- Outdoor living is booming! While there are less new entrants in the internal window covering industry, new companies and innovations are popping up like weeds outside the home. Most of the innovation and market leaders for external shades, awnings and retractable roofing all come from Europe. As far as outdoor living trends go, Europe is 20 years ahead of America. However, the emerging US demand for outdoor living signals a huge potential opening, both for European players to enter the market, and for US companies to evolve and pave the way for the future. I, for one embrace this change and am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to help shape this next evolution of the industry.
With newly emerging opportunities in the window covering and outdoor living industries, we are excited to take on the challenge and responsibility of providing our customers with both product and solutions and inspiration to take their businesses to the next level.