January can feel like a slow month. Christmas and New Year is long gone. The weather is about as dull as it can get. You’re skint. Trying New Years resolutions. It really can drag.

This time though, it felt pretty brisk. So brisk that you’re now reading this in February and we’re already looking at January in the rear view mirror. So, before we take a look at what February might bring to the window and door industry, it’s time to take a quick look back at what the first month of 2018 had in store for us.

Healthy lead numbers

January, other than December, is perhaps the quietest month for new business to be done by installers and fabricators. This is natural. The weather remains garbage, if not worse than December. Christmas puts a major strain on many families, so time is taken to pay down bills before any further investment in the home takes place. And generally people are still trying to get back into a higher gear after nearly two weeks of eating, drinking and generally not caring about work. Face it, January isn’t the most motivating month in the calendar.

That being said, and from what others have told me over the course of January, lead levels have been pretty good. Indeed, at our place, we have had one of the strongest January’s for leads that I can remember.

I’ll say this, I haven’t been told of sales numbers being as strong. I have spoken with our fabricators, recycling company and other companies/people privately and it appears to have been pretty slow. So whilst leads have been very health, installers have been getting plenty of quotes to home owners, it seems as though many are sitting on them. Perhaps waiting for January to get out of the way. For Christmas bills to be paid off before investing big money in their homes. Or even just waiting for better weather.

What I do think though is that February could be quite explosive. Even just a few days into this new month we have already had a slew of new sales in at our places. They also happen to be quotes we sent to people in January. So I suspect that the buying public are really going to be waking up in the next few weeks and start the home improvement season properly.

Biggest stories

It’s fair to say that January was a pretty busy month on the news front.

The Glazing Summit

It was announced at the start of the month that there was to be a new industry gathering, called The Glazing Summit, which will take place at St Johns Hotel & Conference Centre, Solihull on Tuesday 22nd May 2018. With no FIT Show until mid-2019 and a whole glut of major issues shaking up the industry right now, this is a much needed gathering filling an obvious gap.


Carillion Liquidation

Perhaps one of the biggest stories in January in all of news was the dramatic collapse of construction firm Carillion. Putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk, delaying existing or due-to-start government projects, of which 450+ were on the books. It put a huge spotlight on how this part of industry works.


David Leng Joins Customade Group

A big named joined a big group in the middle of the month, as David Leng, formerly of Synseal, joined the Customade Group as CEO. After building up Synseal into the group of companies it now is, expanding it’s turnover many times over, he joins another super-group, likely with the intention to do the very same. Watch this space.


New ownership structure at FIT Show

To be honest, I wondered how long it would be until this happened. After a successful move to the NEC in 2017, the FIT Show announced that global events organisers Angus Montgomery Ltd have become majority shareholders. The timing seemed right, with a two year gap between shows, a move to a bigger venue and other projects growing with the organisers. Lets hope the soul of this one can be kept.


DW3 Sold To Masonite

In what is likely to be one of the biggest fenestration stories of the year here in the UK, and will shake up the door market overall, it was announced that Masonite had acquired the whole of the DW3 Products Group, comprising of Solidor, Nicedor, Residence Collection and Window Widgets. Masonite are one of the biggest door companies in the world, with Door-Stop also part of their group.


DGB Business

How DGB did

As always, I provide a breakdown on how DGB did during the past month. January was very, very good…

I could not have asked for a better start to the year than this. A busy news flow helped. But, I think that a lot of the new traffic gained during 2017 has followed through into the start of this year.

I am in the middle of working out my targets for DGB this year. Based on these sorts of stats in the first month of this year, I am going to have to set them pretty high. I have two goals; the first to just beat what I got in 2017, my second will be my own self imposed targets. I’ll announce those at some point in the coming week. But a great start, and I’ll be working hard to keep it up.

Top 5 most read

Here are the top 5 most read posts published in January:

  1. Ten Companies To Watch In 2018
  2. Customade Announces The Appointment Of David Leng As Group Chief Executive
  3. Five Products To Watch Out For In 2018
  4. Florida Based Masonite Acquires DW3 Products Group
  5. Five Major Issues The Window Industry Has To Overcome In 2018

A look to February

As I mentioned above, I think the industry is really going to spark into life. Home owners have been stacking up their quotes. Decisions are going to be made. The weather (should) be getting a little better. Lighter nights are getting closer. Christmas is but a distant memory. Should be a good one.

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