Can you believe we’re already in the school summer holidays? It’s difficult to think we’re already way past the half way mark in the year, and some installers are even looking at their installation schedules and seeing that there isn’t much time left before the end of the year before they’re full. Madness!
So as we look towards August and the start of the final run into the end of the year, it’s time to take a look back at July at some of the biggest things to happen in UK fenestration, how I thought the industry performed, and of course my little review of how DGB performed in the last month.
Acquisitions, ex-Presidents and Entu
On the news front, it was a busy one in July.
The industry welcomed back favourite Roy Frost as it was announced he had acquired Essex based fabricator GJB. You may not have heard of them. They haven’t racked up many column or screen inches in recent years. But they’re a Eurocell fabricator that turns over £12m+ each year. And with someone like Roy Frost now at the helm, you can bet that we’re all going to hear a lot more about GJB from now on. You can read up on that post here.
July was also the month that saw Alan Burgess step down from his role as President at the GGF. You can catch up on that post here as well.
I think perhaps the biggest story in July was the continued struggles at large home improvement group Entu. During the month, we saw shares in the company fall below 10p, and have since reached an all time low of just 1.3p per share. KPMG were brought in to attempt to save the group, but I think we’re all more familiar with KPMG’s work as administrators more than anything else. The situation looks dire for the business right now, and you have to feel sorry for all the employees at the company and the other brands that are held within the group. These are trying times and we all hope that those people find a better outcome one way or another. You can catch up on my coverage of the trouble at Entu here.
A busy sales month
Sometimes the build up to the school holidays can be a quiet period for the window industry. Parents turn their attentions to entertaining their kids and often put home improvements further down the list until September comes. It didn’t feel that way to me this July however.
In fact, at our place we had our best sales figures for the year so far. Footfall in our showroom was healthy, leads were packed each week, and sales only accelerated during the month. My usual connections in the world of fabrication and installation all reported similarly positive stories, which is good to know, given the bumps in the road all around us.
For me, there is still an post-election spike in force. Very much like we saw in 2016 where the second half of that year appeared to boom for the window industry once the referendum had been concluded, this feels very much the same to me this time round. It felt like in the weeks leading up to the General Election home owners were sitting on big spending decisions, waiting to see the outcome of the vote. Once the dust had settled and some degree of calm returned, home owners began to lift their own self-imposed restrictions, releasing a flood of pent-up business into the market. At least that’s how I see it.
So far, a week into August, things don’t appear to be slowing down despite the school holiday period. I have even seen tweets from certain companies saying that they only have a few weeks left of the year in which to book installations. This is staggering if so, and demonstrates that in some quarters at least, there are fenestration companies doing very well indeed, when previous predictions of doom and gloom appeared to spell the end of the good times.
How DGB did…
As always, I put together an infographic to show how this site performed in the past month, and I am happy to report that it did pretty well, even after I spent the first week of the month spent on a beach…
I’m happy to say that during the last month I had the best day for traffic to DGB for over two and a half years, reaching 1447 page views in a single day. Stories about the GJB acquisition and my review of the new Door-Stop product helped drive that traffic. Partly one of my reasons for wanting to carry out more product reviews.
With high double-digit year-on-year growth for all the major metrics, I seem to have avoided the usual big summer dip in traffic. I would like to think that some of my content strategies have had something to do with that, but there has been plenty to write about this year, which has made my job a little easier.
I am still to carry out major works on the site, including the revamping of the DGB Jobs section and a couple of new ideas I want to try out before the end of the year. Right now it is only time, or a lack of, which is halting my progress on that front.
That being said, after the first week in August, I am already looking at increases in traffic that beat the percentages seen in July. So I hope to write another positive review in a few weeks time!
Top 5 most read posts published in July
A look towards August
All in all I think July has been a pretty positive month for the UK fenestration industry, and I think August is going to follow in the same vein. The early signs all point to a profitable and busy start for installers and fabricators. There’s a chance things could cool off a little as more of the public jet off on their holidays and spend more time with their kids during these next few weeks. Time will tell. My feeling though is even if this is the case, many installers are working well ahead of schedule, so a few quieter weeks won’t cause any harm.
On the news front, I’ll be keeping an eye out for any acquisition talk, it’s still a good time to buy. And I’ll try to build up my product review section if I can get some of you to send me a few things to review!
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