We’re approaching the half way point in the year. Where did that disappear to? Absolutely crazy to think we’re already in June, but, it’s been a busy old year so far for the window industry in all senses of the word, with absolutely no time to sit and watch the clocks tick by.
May was a very busy month too, dominated by the biggest window and door exhibition for at least the last decade. So as we gear up for what is set to be a busy June, it’s worth taking a quick look back at all the things that happened in the month of May in UK fenestration.
FIT Show dominates
There’s not getting away from it, the single biggest story in May in the window industry was indeed the 2017 FIT Show. A new home, high expectations and a back drop of fabrication in flux, this was billed as the most important window and door exhibition in at least the past ten years.
I won’t go into too much detail here about the show as I put together a 2000 word review of the exhibition which you can read right here. You can also click here to see the live page I ran for the event, as well as catch up on all FIT Show related posts published on DGB in recent weeks.
On the whole, FIT Show 2017 was a success, with footfall just about reaching the target they set themselves. A bigger home, record number of exhibitors and just about enough new products to keep people interested meant this was the most important fenestration exhibition for a decade. The show now takes a break for two years. The 2019 show will be a big one.
Universal Arches acquired
The FIT Show wasn’t the only thing to make headlines in the month of May. At the very end of the month acquisition season kicked back into gear with the surprise announcement that frame arching specialists Universal Arches had been acquired by the Kaliber Group for an undisclosed sum.
Kaliber Group own other niche companies such as KAT, Spitfire Doors and Ayrshire Aluminium. Given the unique nature of Universal’s business, this seems like an ideal fit into a group of companies all specialising in their own sectors. You can read the press release and my own personal thoughts on the deal here.
It’s difficult when the FIT Show rolls into town because it takes up so much focus and time from so many people and companies it can sometimes be difficult to judge how things are at the sharp end with home owners. But, I did get the sense during May that home owners might just be applying the breaks a little when it comes to ordering new windows and doors. Is the General Election the cause of that?
At our place, leads were pretty healthy throughout the month, definitely where they should be. Sales were OK, but patchy from week to week. For me, it began to feel a little like it did in the weeks up to the EU Referendum. This time last year there was a sense of waiting in the build up to the vote. Home owners appeared to become a little cautious, maybe choosing to see what would happen to the country depending on the result. In the end, a slim majority voted to leave, there was hype, and then there was nothing else. The economy did not cave in as widely predicted, in fact growth continued, and at our place we had the strongest second half of a year for a very long time.
The atmosphere feels a bit like that again. I think some home owners may just be holding back to see how the country fares in the wake of the General Election result. I don’t think it matters which party wins for some. I suspect some might just feel better about waiting until after the result, make sure that the economy is going to be under any pressure, and then they can go spending again. Personally I believe what we saw in the second half of last year will happen again in the second half of this year. It just feels the same.
One of the other major talking points of the month was White Gold. A BBC2 drama/comedy based on a double glazing company and showroom set in 1983. It follows the exploits of the stereotypical salesmen in those early PVCu years. Drugs, sex, money and typically blue language, it reinforces every single thing about sales in our industry that many will argue is still prevalent in our industry today.
I am in the middle of watching the six episode series, but I have given a quick review based on the first episode. You can read that here.
DGB in May
At the end of April I talked about how I could score a big year on year rise in traffic during May. Turned out I was right:
I was happy to see huge increases in the number of page views and visitors this May in comparison to May in 2016. This time last year I was away on holiday which meant content wasn’t published as regularly and I didn’t promote it on social media as much as I normally would. My holiday spanned the end of May and the start of June last year, so I am expecting another big year on year jump in traffic throughout this June too.
Having the FIT Show and the Universal Arches story at the end of this month did provide a good jolt to figures near the end of the month, which helped me achieve the monthly average page views amount in order to reach my 2017 yearly targets. As we move into June, I am armed to the teeth with content following the FIT Show. Big industry things like this always throw up tons of new content and post ideas for me, I now have a post list as long as my arm, and they’re all pretty meaty subjects, so I am hoping for a very strong June performance for DGB, even though traditionally this is when site traffic starts to dip as the industry gets properly busy on the installations side.
Top 5 posts published in May
To round things off, here are the top five most read posts on DGB published in May:
This was always going to be the busiest month of the year, and it did not disappoint. So, it’s all back to the day job and prepare for the busiest period for installers of the year. Here’s to a stonking June!
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