Jason Thompson, CEO of Glazerite UK Group Ltd explains how we will look ahead in 2021 following a truly tough year for all businesses.
I think it’s safe to say that when 2020 chimed in none of us could have predicted what the year would actually bring. We’re hopeful then that 2021 will be somewhat steadier, and certainly a happier, healthier year for us all.
Unfortunately the hangover remains in the shape of the disrupted supply chain, something we’re keen to minimise as much as possible for our installer partners and their own customers.
Pent up demand following the first lockdown last year led to our sales rising by 30 per cent over the summer period in comparison with the same period the previous year and though these record levels will dip, we are hopeful demand will remain reasonably steady. The obvious variant – pandemic aside – is the impact Brexit could potentially have and it’s a situation we will be monitoring closely. Consumers breathing a sigh of relief at the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine might also use the opportunity to book a long overdue holiday, which could lead to a dip in domestic sales as homeowners choose sunshine over new windows.
Having said that, I believe that demand will be spread between fewer companies given the economic climate and (sadly) resulting industry casualties, and we’re seeing average price per product increasing as more end customers plump for higher value products such as foils and heritage styles. In fact, our foil range now equates to approximately half of what we produce, as consumers search for something a little different.
During 2020, we marked our 20 years in business with major expansion at our North West division, and the introduction of Timberweld® technology at our Specials Division and at Glazerite East. Being able to offer R9, R7 and the Halo Flush Sash using the Timberweld option has brought us greater efficiencies, consistency and flexibility in manufacturing and transport. It’s also perfectly timed for our customers as the demand for flush sash products continues to show considerable growth.
As we continue to get to grips with the impact of 2020’s events on the supply chain and potential shortages or delays across the whole product range, we want to reassure our customers we remain in constant contact with our suppliers and we are pursuing every possible avenue to manage the situation as best we can. Like everyone, we’re not immune to the situation, but we hope that we can help minimise the impact on our installer partners and continue to add value to our broader package of services.