Normally, February can still be a quiet month in the world of windows. It’s still cold weather wise. Home owners are still paying off debts racked up over Christmas. The thought of new windows and doors isn’t the most appealing at this time.

Still, there was plenty to talk about this February, including acquisitions, industry performance, and new company announcements that may or may not change how we do things. It was also a pretty good month for this website too. So as we start March, lets have a look back at a busy February in UK fenestration.

Mixed bag on industry performance

In January I wrote about how positive things appeared to have started for the majority of us. February however might be a little different. From the conversations I have had over the weeks with fabricators and other industry friends of mine, there appears to be a bit of a slowing in the sector on a region by region basis.

During one of my conversations with a fabricator, he explained that they has started to see a bit of a slowdown in the northern regions, whilst the south was still doing pretty well. He said that it could be the general slowing of this part of the UK at this time of year, but they were unsure if economic factors were playing a part too.

I must admit, that February for us was not as barnstorming as January was. Sales were OK, but not blowing the roof off like the were in the first couple of weeks of the year. That being said we closed the month out on two pretty large contracts so whether that marks a turn as we head into Spring we’ll have to wait and see. But there was a distinct difference at our place between January and February. Nothing of too much concern at this point, but we would like to see some improvement as we head into March.

I also get a general sense that the commentary on social media on all the major platforms from the industry has perhaps become less bullish than it was during January. I have seen a little less of the positive tweets than of late. Perhaps a little signal as to some caution creeping in?

Top 5 posts

I missed this feature in the January review, so I’m making sure I get it in early! Here are the five top read posts published during the month of February on DGB:

1. It’s Time To Ban Wired Glass

2. I Wanted To Quit My Job Today

3. Polyframe Announce Acquisition And Merger With Customade Group Limited (Customade)

4. Plimsoll: 230 Window And Door Companies In Danger

5. CORGI Fenstration – A New Competent Persons Scheme?

There was some great content to write about during February, and it made for some good stats too, which I’ll get on to later.

DGB Features

Aluminium Acquisition

Just as we headed to the end of the month, acquisition season in UK fenestration got going properly, as DGB was able to exclusively reveal that Anglo European, together with Joe Martoccia, formerly of Ultraframe and Solidor, had acquired aluminium specialists Aluminium Shapes for an undisclosed sum.

Read the exclusive DGB post and initial thoughts here

I have a written interview with Joe coming up soon on DGB, which will shed light on their plans for Aluminium Shapes, what they saw in the company as an acquisition target and much more besides.

As far as further M&A activity goes for the sector, I believe that we will continue to see lots more consolidation across all parts of fenestration, as the industry becomes more lean and adapts to the size according to home owner demand. Whether this is a good thing in terms of competition and monopoly remains to be seen. Either way, it’s going to happen.

CORGI Fenestration

Also at the end of the month, we saw the entrance of a well known gas industry brand enter the fray of fenestration, CORGI. Officially called CORGI Fenestration, their aim is to bring the much recognised and respected brand to the window and door industry, at all levels of the supply chain, to raise standards and improve training and qualifications across the board.

The scheme is brand new, and clarity will come over time. But my initial thoughts were that it will create direct competition with already established industry bodies, and the dynamic between the new guys and the old will be fascinating to watch from the side lines.

Read the official press release and my initial thoughts here

DGB performance – right on track

As always, here is my infographic to explain how DGB did during the month of February:

In the context of a shorter February than last year, I’m pretty happy with those results.

I have set myself a target of 225k page views, 170k visits and 120k unique visitors for 2017. That equates to a daily average of 616.44 page views, 465.75 visits and 328.76 unique visits. The daily averages for February 2017 were all well above those, as they were for January. So I am happy to be ahead of schedule on what I believe to be quite challenging targets.

I accept that this Feb’s figures are down a bit on last Feb’s figures, however, there was an extra day in the month last year which makes a difference. Also, I am aiming for a more balanced traffic flow for DGB this year. Last year, January and February were both very busy in traffic, but then it entered a steady slow down which stalled progress, hitting a pretty big dip in June. If I can maintain these sorts of figures throughout the course of the year, I’ll actually beat all my major targets comfortably by year’s end. On top of that, I am happy to say that March has started really well, and could be on for my first monthly beat this year. If I maintain my 2017 daily averages so far, March 2017 will be a beat on March 2016. So expect those arrows above to be the other way round come the end of the month!

One stat I am particularly happy about is the number of 1000+ page view days I have had. During 2017 I have already had five days where page views have exceeded 1000+. My best day so far this year is 1445 page views. During 2016 I had just one day where this happened. It is days like this which are going to push growth forward this year.

All in all, a busy February all round, if not all as positive as it may have appeared to be at the start. Still, as we head into Spring, (hopefully) warmer temperatures and house season begins, the patchy business activity reported by some will return to more positive vibes.

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