While me and @GlazingGuru were chewing the cud and putting the world to rights on Saturday, we both came to the conclusion that the recession in this country is probably down to one sector and one sector only – which happens to be one of our biggest ones: construction.
Our construction industry, if you can still call it that, couldn’t be any weaker than it is right now. Latest figures show it is 10.1% down this year compared to the same period last year. And when you consider 2011 was worse than 2010, that isn’t good news. But because construction in this country is such a big sector, when that isn’t performing well, it drags the overall economy down, even if there are other areas which are doing better. Like windows for example.
Despite all the dire economic news, there does seem to be quite a flow of positivity from the double glazing industry. You see on Twitter and on blogs that companies are having best ever weeks and best ever months. I can vouch for this personally as we are having a much better year compared to those previously and have recently had our best week and best month since summer 2007! If there is a recession in this country, it is certainly not affecting our industry the way most people have thought it would.
A lot of people who we have sold to so far this year have been families that have decided against moving, be it due to the economy, lack of interest in buyers etc. They have been sitting on what is probably a fair few tens of thousands of pounds. Money that would have been used to go towards the sale and purchase of a new property. Instead, those people, of which there are quite a few, are using that money to improve their current property. New kitchens, an extension, new windows and doors, solar panels and so on. This would explain why most of the jobs we have fit this year have been full house replacements. In comparison, the previous year was very heavily focused on doors.
I think we all remember the dire prediction at the end of last year. The word ‘bloodbath’ was highly used to describe the appalling situation the industry would find itself in. But in a complete turn around, the industry I think has done surprisingly well. And from what I can tell and what I can read on what others are saying, this is a trait based up and down the country and not just in certain areas.
The key now is going to be making sure that this new found energy for replacement windows and doors is continued into 2013. We need to make sure 2012 isn’t just a flash in the pan year. More hard work, innovation and graft is going to be required so that at the end of 2013 we can all come back and report that we all sold more and made more profit than we did in 2012.