Better late than never, but this is my look back at June in the UK fenestration industry. I know it’s about three weeks later than it normally is, but I was on holiday until the 8th of July, so it was never going to happen that week, and since I got back I have been totally slammed.
But, the first 23 days of June I was here was plenty busy, and gave us all plenty to talk about. Plus, DGB did pretty well for June also. So here’s my quick take at June in UK glazing, including the top 5 most read posts published in the month.
(sighs….) a shambles of a result for Theresa May in a General Election I am fairly sure most of the country didn’t really want.
Remember, May called the election on the back of polls showing a 20 point lead over Labour, with the hope to increase her majority in Parliament and make it easier for her to pass legislation and ultimately a version of Brexit that she wanted. We all know how that turned out.
A terrible campaign and an energised Jeremy Corbyn saw a hung Parliament. A result miles away from what was expected. Once again the pollsters failed to gauge the mood of the country, and were way off.
Somehow, Theresa May is still the Prime Minister. With her reduced majority, it was left to the DUP to sign up to a “confidence and supply” deal with the Tories, which basically means that when it comes to big votes, the DUP would guarantee support for the Tories in order to pass legislation. In return, Northern Ireland got another £1bn in extra funding.
Labour and their supporters didn’t like it, but, that was how the votes were cast. After a few gentle reminders that Labour were still miles off from winning an election with any sort of majority (they were a good 55-60 seats short of winning) they backed off a little bit.
As we stand, the Queens Speech was debated and passed, Sterling has actually risen to be above the $1.30 mark which went against all predictions, Brexit negotiations have started and Theresa May remains Prime Minister. The latter is perhaps the most remarkable thing. She was under immense pressure to step down after the election. A campaign slammed by all sides, a reduced majority, and personal criticism as she was described as a robot instead of a human. Yet she is still here, and in the cold light of day, she should be. Yes, she called an election with a view to increase her majority, but didn’t get it. However, her party still won the most seats by a good margin, well in front of Labour. The hype was mostly because Labour did a lot better starting off from a low base, after being predicted to be smashed at the polls. If a party wins the most seats in an election, no matter the previous starting position, then time should be afforded to the leader of that party to form a Government and get on with running a country.
Will she last the full term? I would say the odds aren’t as bad as you’d think.
Brisk business after the election
I was saying to my Dad at the end of May and start of June that it really felt very much like it did just before the Brexit vote. It felt back then that people were holding off big ticket purchases, like windows and doors, until the result was known and what immediate effects there would be. As it turned out, very little happened, and the second half of 2016 was a boom period for many window and door installers.
Well, I believe the very same thing happened this year. It felt once again that many were sitting on decisions for big ticket items, waiting to see the outcome of the election, what effects it would have, if any, and then make a move. What we found at our place was a quiet end to May and early June, but once the vote was over, boom! It was as if the floodgates were open. Leads were crashing in, sales too. We were that busy that whilst I was on vacation we had hired another fitting crew to reduce the rapidly rising lead time we found ourselves with.
In my discussions with my usual contacts, the very same feeling was being repeated in other parts of the market and the country. I am never quite sure why big events like elections and referendums have this effect on the public. In reality, the results change very little materially over night, and yet, many are happy to wait on purchases until that event is over. I guess that will never change.
The situation in the latter half of June however was very positive. Lead and sales levels were great, and a really good mix of products being sold too. No matter what is going on in the world of politics, home owners in our area seem very happy to continue spending on their home improvements.
Acquisition and Grenfell tragedy
It cannot go unmentioned, the tragedy that continues to play out in the aftermath of the horrendous fire that killed so many in the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. Something which I can guarantee no one will ever wish to see again in their lifetimes. A fire which started in a block of flats which killed at least 80, with many more missing. There will be some very sore lessons for the whole country to learn from this, and is something I covered in a post on the matter here.
Away from matters in London, Stevenswood continued their expansion of their trade counter business by announcing the acquisition of Sameday Trade Frames. You can catch up on that announcement here.
After this latest acquisition, I started to question in a post, whether competition is going to suffer, if we continue to see buyout after buyout. The industry has some more consolidation to go, but is power being grouped in too few places in our industry? You can read up on my thoughts on that matter here too.
DGB in June
As always, I publish a little infographic showing how DGB did in the last month. Despite the usual summer dip, and my own vacation at the end of the month, I don’t think I did too badly…
I knew traffic would tail off at the end of the month as I stopped publishing content and pushing it on social media. I was on a beach and it was 34 degrees, so I cared very little at that point. The good thing was however was that I had a very good start to the month, and much of the growth was captured in the first 23 days of June, before I went away.
Add into the mix the usual summer dip in website traffic I always get, I don’t think I did too bad at all. I had good growth across all the major metrics compared to June 2016, and I’m just about where I want to be when it comes to my yearly target. I am about to write a review of the first half of the year soon, and the year to date figures should make for some decent viewing.
We’re already approaching the end of July, and I can already confirm that growth compared to July 2016 is going to easily surpass that of the month just gone. So I’m really pleased with that. The summer months can be quite quiet, as attention turns to other things in life. So to see the kinds of figures I’m getting is proving to me that my content strategy and social media promotion is paying off.
As always, here is a list of the top 5 most read posts published in June 2017:
We’re nearly at the end of July, but already I can say that it’s been once of the busiest months we have had this year at our place. New fitters have come on board, lead times are healthy, sales are good and we don’t have time to sit down for lunch. July’s review should be a good one!
To get weekly updates from DGB sent to your inbox, enter your email address in the space below to subscribe: