In a new series of posts, this is the first of my quarterly reviews of the year. I do my monthly ones which you’ll be used to, which is a brief look back at what happened in the industry in the past four weeks.
The quarterly reviews will provide a bit more of an in-depth look at what storied and subjects were popular during those three months, the biggest stories and of course my own review on how this site has performed. Hopefully you’ll find it a useful way to catch yourself up on the major news in the sector in the quarter.
A spluttering start
Throughout the duration of the first quarter I have had various fabricators and installers give me a fairly mixed picture about how brisk business is. For some, January was very busy and they can shooting out of the gates, then it dropped off in February. For others it was the other way round, a quiet January with a very busy February.
I also got the feeling that by the time we got to March we were on a bit more of a smoother path and the industry had found a rhythm. That being said, the snow days we had won’t have helped, and may have held back a bit of extra business the industry might have won if the weather had been more forgiving. Many think that the weather doesn’t play a part on business, but it does. It has been estimated that for every snow day the UK has, the economy loses just over £1bn. We’ve had a few, so we can count out a few quid when the next round of GDP figures are released. Inevitably, there will be a bit of window and door business in there.
There are some external factors we need to consider when looking back at the last three months. Inflation was still higher than wage growth, meaning real-term wage declines, which equates to less spending power for home owners. Bad news from the high street compounded more general fears about the economy. Personal debt has never been higher, and personal savings rates are falling fast. So when you consider all of that, the fact we have had any good news from the window industry at all should be classed as an unexpected positive.
The big stories
There were a number of huge stories that broke in the first quarter of 2018. One of the first and perhaps most damaging to construction was the spectacular collapse of Carillion. The giant company, with thousands of ongoing contracts, many with the Government, went under owing more than £1bn in debt and pension fund deficits. Thousands have lost jobs directly, with many more yet to be decided. But even now the trickle-down effect is yet to be known as thousands of suppliers to Carillion face a severe shortage of cash flow. I covered the story here on DGB and you can read up on that story again here: https://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/2018/01/carillion-goes-into-liquidation/
Next up we had the announcement of David Leng being appointed new Group CEO of Customade. Formerly or Synseal, David makes the move to another group which is making big waves in the window and door industry with hefty spending power. Read more about that one here: https://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/2018/01/customade-announces-appointment-david-leng-group-chief-executive/
Perhaps one of the biggest news stories for the window and door industry, despite it being so early on in the year, was the announcement that the ownership of the FIT Show had changed. Angus Montgomery Ltd, a very long established events company, has taken over as majority shareholders, giving them effective ownership. Mr Glover remains as Chairman, and it is believed much of the existing staff structure remains also. You can find out more about this major move here: https://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/2018/01/fit-show-strengthens-future/
Not to be outdone, a day later it was announced that Florida-based Masonite, already owners of Door-Stop, had acquired the whole of the DW3 Products Group. A group containing, Solidor, Nicedor, Residence Collection and Window Widgets. All major companies in their own right. The dynamics within the Masonite group are certainly going to be interesting, considering the companies they already own. This will also be one of the biggest stories of 2018, and you can catch up on that here: https://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/2018/01/florida-based-masonite-acquires-dw3-products-group/
DGB in Q1
Just like my monthly reviews, I will post the site’s quarterly performance as well. I do like these charts…
Now that is hard work paying off. Glad to see that I’m not busting my ass for no reward. Those growth figures I am very happy with. I set myself some pretty steep yearly targets at the start of the year based on what I achieved in 2017, and thought that if I get anywhere near close it will mean growth regardless, even if I didn’t manage to reach those peaks.
It seems I may have underestimated DGB’s traffic. Those targets are going to be well beaten at this rate. It helped having a strong news flow in January, that always gets the traffic flowing. I’m hoping that April brings something fresh to chew over, as things were a little quiet in March. I am also putting this down to increased presence on social media and my growing DGB weekly email subscriber list. They all continue to grow at steady rates, which is helping to push content to the right people and nurture the growth further.
Here’s hoping Q2 continues in the same vein.
Top 1o most read posts
Each month I do a top 5 most read posts, but that’s not good enough for a quarterly review, so here’s a top 10:
There’s some solid reading there for you if you have a spare half an hour!
The next quarter brings a couple of industry events. The first being the Winners Event for the 2017 winners of the National Fenestration Awards, more about reach can be read here: http://www.fenestrationawards.co.uk/nfa17-winners-event/
The second is the Glazing Summit, due to be held in May in Solihull. There is going to be a lot to talk about, but although not free to attend, it will be a good opportunity to listen in and find out what the industry thinks are going to be it’s biggest barriers and opportunities in the months and years ahead. My hope is that not only will it provide a platform for people to talk, but for action to be taken on the issues that matter. We often do a lot of talking in our industry, where meetings take place to arrange further meetings. Lets see some stuff get agreed and done! You can find out more about that here: https://www.doubleglazingblogger.com/event/the-glazing-summit/
I’ll be keeping an eye out for more Safestyle news, as they will be due to publish at least one more trading update, giving us an indicator of their performance and perhaps the nationals in general.
Here’s hoping for a profitable and productive Q2 for all!
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