Reacts to Acquisition of Diamond Glass by Belron US, Predicts Future
of Independent Shops
In the days following Friday's announcement that Belron US had
the winning bid for Diamond Glass, many in the industry have expressed
fear at what this transaction could do to the industry's independent
HERE for related story.) The Independent Glass Association (IGA)
issued a Beacon earlier this week expressing that it "vehemently
opposes the approval of the sale of Diamond Glass to Belron US by
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware." (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
Several industry members have expressed similar fears.
Many see this huge new glass company monster devouring
smaller [shops]," says Steve Owens of Clearvue Auto Glass in
Doug Shaw of Doug's Windshield Repair and Replacement Services
in McGehee, Ark., echoes Owens' thoughts.
"I think [the sale is] going to strengthen the monopoly [Belron
US] already has," he says.
However, Shaw's fears are assuaged by the fact that he diversified
his business in 2002-adding on automotive, residential and commercial
"If not for having done that, I would've been out of business,
along with about five others in a 40-mile radius that have closed
their doors over the last two years," Shaw says.
Neil Duffy of Auto Glass Menders in San Jose, Calif., though, sees
Belron truly gaining a national presence in the United States with
"With the auction sale of Diamond, I believe Belron will now
have the platform and size to truly become a national glass installation
company," he says. "It will be a first
United States. Our market has been so fractured and localized in
the past, all attempts have failed for anyone to gain that sort
Duffy also points out that this national presence could make the
days ahead difficult for independent shop owners.
"The independents and others have a real battle on their hands,
and, in many ways, on is out-gunned and out-manned," he says.
I predict more fractures caused by failures of smaller
chains that can't compete or by cast-offs from the merger. That
will make life harder for us all because there will be more competition
in a shrinking market."
Duffy, a glassBYTEs.com blogger, recently wrote an imaginative blog
about the Diamond acquisition, comparing it to various themes found
in Shakespearean literature. CLICK
HERE for blog.
How do you expect the sale of Diamond Glass to Belron US to affect
your business? CLICK
HERE to e-mail glassBYTEs.com editor Penny Stacey, or
HERE to visit the glassBYTEs.com message board to discuss this
and other issues.
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