The double glazing industry I think is still in a state of flux.
On one hand you have companies like Everest coming out with 30% increases in profits and sales. But then on the other we still see other companies around us going to the wall. It has to be said that the probable main reason for this is that those who are going bust are doing so because they failed to adapt to a changing market. Those whose results are improving are the ones who positioned themselves well to keep making profits and maintain growth.
However, I feel the market still remains fragile. Customers are much more tentative than they were this time last year. No doubt affected by the threat of job losses and the huge spending cuts now kicking in. People are still placing orders, but are taking more time to do so, meaning a slow start to the year for many. I can say with confidence though that the end of January has seen things speed up and gain a bit of momentum.
The industry is still susceptible to shocks and nervousness. The economic contractions figures out last week will only serve to knock consumer confidence, which is the last thing we all need. To keep people buying it’s going to come down to what the sales staff can do. They need to give the customer complete and utter confidence that spending potentially huge sums of money with them is one of the best purchases they can make right now. If they can do that, without pressure and hard-sell, then we’ll be OK.