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Hard window sales cover $3.9B of biz

Soft window coverings may seem to be the way most consumers choose to decorate their windows, but don't count out the hard window coverings industry just yet.

Hard window sales are essentially divided into two categories: the ready-made, pre-measured kind generally bought at any discounter, do-it-yourself store or home improvement center; or the custom-built kind. The combined sales of both are a hefty $3.9 billion and steadily growing, according to Joe Jankoski, vp, corporate development for the Upper Saddle River, NJ-based Hunter Douglas Window Fashions.

"The business is growing every year in single digits," Jankoski said. "There's a lot of 'mix changes' going on fueling that growth, such as growth in certain product areas and maturity in others."

The hard window coverings industry goes almost hand-in-hand with the sales patterns of its soft counterpart, increasing when hard times hit and people begin to spend more on the home or declining when times are good and vacations and trips are the way to go.

Feeling the impact of this are the mass merchants and home centers that sell the majority of ready-made hard window coverings as well as the independent specialty retailer shops that focus on the custom-made end.

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