August. Usually the quietest month on the news front as it seems everyone disappears on holiday and nothing really gets done on any front until September. The same usually goes for the window industry. Everyone is on holiday, home owners take a break from home improvement as we meander for a few weeks until the beginning of September.
Not this time. I cannot remember an August like this in my 12 years in the window and door industry. The news, dramatic much of the time, came thick and fast and had everyone talking.
This is my look back at the main points in the window industry in August and a quick look forward to September.
No sleepy sales
Because of the school break, August can sometimes be quite quiet on the sales front for many installers. Not so this time round, at least at our place. Although we were a little bit quieter than previous months for leads, it certainly wasn’t the same for sales. In fact August was our best month for sales in 2017 so far. A number of high value contracts came good in quick succession, interspersed with smaller and medium sized work which helped us achieve our best sales month.
Speaking with my usual contacts throughout the month and the picture appears to be similar. Not knocking over lead records, but sales remained strong and in high values.
We’re in September now, so we can expect leads to be picking back up pretty quickly, sales to reflect that also. Silly season is about to begin once again.
Sales throughout the month was not the main story however. No. It was the instability that has begun to plague growing swathes of the industry, and has perhaps exposed a higher degree of weakness, higher than we might have though.
One of the biggest stories throughout the month of August was the troubles at national home improvement group Entu. Their problems had been well documented. Their share price value had dropped to pretty much nothing. Shares in the company on the AIM stock exchange were later halted. Eventually the company was placed into administration after no deal could be found.
All looked lost for the company. It didn’t look like there was going to be a happy ending. But, just as administration was announced, the Latium Group, headed up by Brian Kennedy, had acquired the business. It gave the employees of the business a reprieve, however temporary, and meant that they have an income to continue to pay their bills.
As a result of the instability at Entu, the share price of the Epwin Group plummeted during the middle of August. You can catch up on that post here. Epwin were exposed to Entu as a supplier, and it was not clear as to the future of payments on debts owed. Since the Latium Group purchase the share price has recovered somewhat, but is still well down from their highs, and I suspect more turbulence in the share price in the months to come.
At the end of the month, the industry was also rocked by the news that long established, well respected fabricators Lister Trade Frames had unexpectedly been placed into administration. The Entu story was serious, this Listers news really did take many of us aback. A sad situation for a high quality company, there are positive signs that there will be a buyer found for the business, and I am sure everyone there and in the industry wishes them the best as they seek to return to normal service. You can read my post on that here.
The story that helped me break my page views record was the announcement from Synseal that they had secured their next finance deal to take things forward. Previous to this, the rumour mill had been in overdrive with speculation about the health of the business. Much comment continues on this story, but you can catch up with that post here.
Instability was the theme of the month in August, and I suspect that it will remain so throughout the rest of the year. There’s going to be some hairy weeks and months coming I think.
How DGB did
As always, I give you a break down as to the performance of this site. August was awesome. In fact it was staggering, with records tumbling all over the place. Take a look…
The traffic to DGB during August was staggering. Some very long standing records were easily smashed. The news flow did the work for me though. I can’t remember reporting on so many massive industry stories in quick succession. As a result however, my subscriber list to weekly DGB emails has grown significantly. It is this growing base which will help grow traffic on DGB in the long run.
Whether any more records fall in September remains to be seen. I can say already though that I have started really strong for the month, and I can see a number of new regular readers that I will have picked up due to coverage of the Synseal, Entu, Epwin and Lister posts. Hopefully they will turn into longer term readers.
Top 5 posts published
Here is the list of the top 5 most read posts published in August:
- Synseal Announcement Quashes Rumours
- Entu To Be Placed Into Administration
- Epwin Group Share Price Plummets On Half-Year Trading Update
- The Glazing Industry Is Approaching A Very Serious Crisis Point
- If A Big Glazing Company Goes Bust
A look towards September
It’s going to be a busy one, on all fronts. Installers and fabricators are going to see business pick up big time as home owners rush to complete their home improvements before the Winter and Christmas. Leads and sales will both be high.
On the news front, I still think there is plenty that could happen. I still see a lot of instability in some of the largest parts of the market. There are a lot of companies exposed to bad ones, and sales of certain demographics are hurting certain businesses, and it’s those we should be keeping an eye on.
The epic nominations phase for the National Fenestration Awards comes to an end on the 28th of the month, so if you haven’t yet got your nominations in make sure you do it now!
It will be a busy month, I hope you all had a calm August to recharge your batteries!
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