FEATURES — D&AS SURVEY: The Hottest New Products at Expo 2005s

© 2005 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2005
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Pages 48-50

The Hottest New Products at Expo 2005

Editor’s Note: For the last five years, we have selected three random dealers who attended the Garage Door Expo and asked their opinion of “the hottest new products at Expo.” Each dealer shared a helpful perspective of the new products at the show. This year, we expanded our input pool from three dealers to dozens of dealers.

Immediately after Expo 2005 in Nashville, we sent an e-mail survey to nearly 1,000 dealers throughout the United States and Canada. We asked them:
1. Did you attend IDA’s 2005 Expo in Nashville?
2. (If yes) In your opinion, what were the hottest new products displayed at Expo?

A total of 217 dealers responded to the survey, and 89 (41 percent) said they did attend Expo. Of those 89, 75 respondents elected to answer the second question.

This question did not provide a check-box list of specific products. Respondents had to draft their own response off the top of their head, without us prompting any specific answer. Many cited only one product, but some listed two or three products.

So, what were the 2005 Expo’s hottest products? Here’s what they said.

#1 – Carriage-House Doors
Clearly, the top response was “carriage-house doors” in general. Some respondents mentioned some specific types (e.g., wood, steel, vinyl, etc.), and six brands were mentioned (Amarr, C.H.I., Clopay, First United, Garage Doors Inc., Haas).

In all, 28 respondents (37 percent) mentioned the carriage-house garage door. Since the survey was open-ended, it’s remarkable that any one product type would attract so much attention.

These responses were typical:
• “Stamped carriage-house doors. Everybody had one.”
•“Carriage doors seem to be a hot product. There are several manufacturers offering this door.”
• “Carriage-house doors are the hope of all manufacturers.”

#2 – Wayne-Dalton’s Fiberglass Doors
The second most popular response (10 respondents or 13 percent) specifically referred to Wayne-Dalton’s new residential fiberglass garage door. Although each respondent described the product differently, this response was typical: “I liked the looks of the new Wayne-Dalton fiberglass wood raised-panel doors.”

#3 – Nothing
Even though most respondents identified a specific product, eight respondents basically said, “Nothing was new.” This response seems overly pessimistic (there were, after all, 178 exhibits). Yet it was notable that eight different respondents had the same perception.

As one said, “Overall, I thought the show was relatively boring; no new products caught my eye. Some proclaimed they were new but were the same old product with a little change.”

#4 – Spring Winding Tool
Six respondents mentioned a new spring winding tool. Four of these respondents identified Re-Source as the supplier, while National (Door) was mentioned by one. With all the doors and openers on display at Expo, it’s noteworthy that a tool would rank this highly in our survey.

#5 – C.H.I.
C.H.I. Overhead Doors attracted six mentions, although different products were identified. Four mentioned C.H.I. carriage-house doors, one cited a “steel flush door with the applied urethane moulding,” while another mentioned C.H.I.’s rolling steel fire door.

#6 - LiftMaster
Five respondents specifically identified “LiftMaster,” but like C.H.I., different products attracted attention. Three of the five, however, mentioned “the new logic board.”

#7 – New Glass Designs
“The most eye catching thing was the new variety of windows offered by many of the door companies,” said one respondent. Five respondents mentioned new window designs, but a specific manufacturer was identified only once (Shelter Products).

#8 – Amarr
Amarr Garage Doors collected four mentions, and two of them identified the Classica steel carriage-house door. One respondent offered this compliment, “Amarr had the best display of doors.”

#9 – Eight Other Products/Companies
The following attracted three mentions each. We list them in alphabetical order.
• Albany … Comment: “I get much more excited over new industrial products such as the rapidly growing rubber door market which is dominated by Albany International, TNR, and Break-a-way. Rubber doors are problem solvers and a true profit center.”
• Battery Back-ups … No manufacturers were identified.
• Bug/Screen Doors … Comment: “I’d like to see more companies with residential screen doors as well. I only found one company at Expo with this product and I’d like to see more competition.”
• BuildMark … The new product line from Raynor.
• Clopay … Two mentioned the new Avante full-view glass door.
• Hörmann … Two mentioned the Golden Oak steel door, and one mentioned its “zero headroom track.”
• UCoat It … Garage Floor Coatings: “(The) UCoat It product was pretty revolutionary. (It’s) a possible addition to our line of products.”
• Zap … Comment: “I was impressed with the Zap opener. I really like DC power.”

This survey should not be viewed as comprehensive, but it is a good indicator of products that collected some buzz at Expo. If you missed the show, this survey gives you some idea of what you missed.

To respond to this story, send an E-mail to daseditor@dasma.com.