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Looking ahead in 2021

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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.

Recent News

The countdown to FIT Show is on...
It's been a while but the FIT Show is finally back! Although we are not exhibiting this year, our supply partners have some exciting things to share with you, so make sure you pop by and visit them.  VEKA With some innovative product developments to unveil at the show, the VEKA stand should not be missed. It's a great opportunity to speak to the team about Independent Network and their market leading approach to recycling.  Stand K21 DoorCo We've fabricated the doors on display on the DoorCo stand, you'll be able to talk to the team about the choices available in your offering including style, colour and glass options. Stand Q11 Brisant Secure Brisant Secure always bring something new and exciting into their portfolio. They will be showcasing their Ultion range and Sweet door furniture with some fantastic warranties. Stand G32 Kubu Our doors are fitted with the Avantis multi-point lock, offering a smart door solution for homeowners. At the show they will be unveiling a groundbreaking Smart Security Guarantee. Stand Q31 We look forward to catching up with you all next week! 
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Industry veterans prepare for mammoth 'Loneliest Road' charity cycle
Former Glazerite UK Group chairman John Hewitt has announced his latest ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ fundraising challenge for mental health charity, We Mind & Kelly Matters (WMKM). Sponsored by the VEKA Group, the epic 52,000-mile cycling challenge will see John joined by his daughter Amy to raise awareness and funds for WMKM, the charity founded in memory of John’s late daughter and Amy’s sister, Kelly. Joining them are an intrepid team of cyclists, including Sarah Ball from Balls 2 Marketing, DoorCo’s Dan Sullivan, and Peter Mew from Mews Windows. Setting off from Burgos, Spain on 10th September 2022, which coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day, three teams of four cyclists will undertake consecutive relays over 10 days. The arduous route takes them through France, where they will take on the world-famous Mont Ventoux, before finishing the European leg on 19th September at VEKA’s headquarters in Sendenhorst, Germany. From there, 12 riders head across the pond to take on the epic Highway 50 east-west route across the United States. Kicking off in New York, the team will cycle 3343 miles to San Francisco before finishing the ride on the Golden Gate Bridge on 10th October 2022; coinciding with World Mental Health Day. Set to try to clock up 52,000 miles – the equivalent of going around the world twice – Kelly’s Heroes will also promote the Time to Change #AskTwice campaign along the routes. Part of the route includes the infamous stretch in Nevada known as the ‘Loneliest Road in America’, thanks to its vast mountainous and sandy scenery. It’s this road that John has chosen to name the challenge after and is particularly poignant given the lonely nature of mental health. The epic month-long fundraiser follows on from the charity’s 1000-mile journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 2020 when Kelly’s Heroes raised over £130,000. The funds raised for WM&KM have since enabled the charity to roll out mental health support services such as counselling, support groups, and an online emotional support service for people living in Northamptonshire and beyond. John says: “This year’s challenge sees us cycle part of Europe and right across America, with the European leg covering more than 1800 miles. The US leg covers four different time zones and crosses seven mountain ranges, which will see us climb 145,000 feet. It is a huge undertaking, and we are under no illusion as to how hard it will be, but we are determined to make this our biggest fundraising challenge to date.” VEKA Group is the main sponsor for the event, with John adding: “We are hugely grateful to VEKA for supporting us and also taking part, and we are so excited to be starting and ending the European leg at two of their sites.” Further support has come from others in the industry, including Bohle Ltd and Central Window Systems. John explains: “Dave Broxton from Bohle Ltd has been critical in the planning for both rides, which has been particularly challenging given the original route was meant to start on the Russian border. Gary Morton of Central Window Systems recently joined me for a recce of the USA route, which has equipped us with some useful insight. It also brings to reality the sheer scale of what we’re taking on!” John concludes: “The entire industry really got behind us in 2020, and, even at this early stage, we’re already receiving some great support for this year’s challenge. We’d love it if those in the industry could share our challenge across social media, as it would really encourage us in our efforts and help increase awareness of mental health.” The Loneliest Road has some rider positions left. If you are interested in taking part or would like to know how you can support Kelly’s Heroes’ Loneliest Road challenge, visit WM&KM at Fit Show 2022, Stand C32 or watch
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Glazerite helps installers tap into consumer trends
Area sales manager, Peter Smith, highlights why doors remain a key and continually expanding part of Glazerite's portfolio. As the nation’s energy bills continue to rise, consumers’ thoughts will invariably turn to ways to cut heat loss. With a new front door high on that list, Glazerite is gearing up to ensure our installers can meet demand. While composite doors have been a favourite of late, the original PVC door has become increasingly popular, and we are likely to see a further surge in interest over the coming months as homeowners look to improve energy efficiency on a budget. It’s a great alternative with outstanding thermal performance, and they are an affordable, efficient and stylish option available in a range of colours. We continue to see our composite door ranges develop and innovate. In the last year alone we’ve seen some significant changes from DoorCo with glass options and the new FLiP cassettes taking the aesthetics and performance of every door style to a new level. Security is also a big factor for homeowners, and it’s an area we work hard to help set our installers apart. Statistics from a UK insurance company recently revealed that more than three quarters of burglaries occur through doors, either by forcing the lock, breaking the door itself, or, worryingly, because the door wasn’t even locked in the first place. Having a secure lock, a robust door and the right smart tech in place to alert you in case you forget to secure your home can go some way to reassure consumers. It’s also why we choose to work with innovative suppliers like Ultion and Kubu, both of whom offer unrivalled security features and benefits as part of their security and smart technology ranges. While the unrivalled Ultion 3 star cylinder is standard on our doors, a simple upgrade to Ultion Smart allows homeowners to control the door lock using a smartphone, watch, or key. It also offers an ‘unlock on approach’ feature and can be programmed to remain unlocked for a set time before securing itself again. Meanwhile, the Kubu smart lock is equally as appealing to tech-savvy, security-conscious homeowners, and, like the Ultion Smart, is another selling point installers can share with customers. As Glazerite’s doors are equipped with the high performance Avantis multi-point locking system, it’s an easy upgrade for the homeowner to transform to a Kubu lock using a door module. Colour-wise, Anthracite Grey remains our biggest seller, while the classic Chartwell Green also remains popular. As the focal point of every home, the replacement of this tired timber door (pictured) with a Chartwell Green Solidor, courtesy of Glazerite installer Martindale Windows, shows what a transformation a new door can really make. Martindale Windows’ Paul Wightman has also recently completed a stunning gable installation in VEKA M70, with matching Anthracite bi-folds, for an incredible home transformation. It’s the choice Glazerite offers installers across our entire portfolio, which attracted Paul to working with us in the first place. Kendal-based Paul explains: “I’ve worked with Glazerite for many years now and it’s their portfolio that made them stand out from their competitors. I get access to high quality products backed up with useful marketing materials to showcase the styles and features that appeal to customers. I also really like the support I receive from my Sales contact, Peter Smith, and the technical team.” Working closely with our suppliers and listening to our installer partners like Paul enables us to continually evolve our doors portfolio and better support our customers in their own markets. This year will also see some exciting additions to Glazerite’s door portfolio, which we’re looking forward to sharing over the coming months.
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