Jim Blanthorne Managing Director of Keylite Roof Windows is BMBI’s Expert for Roof Windows.
Our professional and personal lives have been massively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, posing unexpected challenges for us all – 2020 has certainly been an eventful year for Keylite, the construction products market, the UK and the world as a whole.
Keylite remained open throughout lockdown, albeit with a skeleton crew and special safety measures in place, in order to maintain essential supply to our customers many of whom continued to trade throughout the quarter. During April and May, sales of roof windows were significantly impacted, dropping to 50% of the previous year. However, through June, July and early August sales have increased to levels close to expected performance.
Feedback from our merchant partners and other suppliers in the industry would suggest that this trend is common, and with a sudden return to normal volumes we are hearing anecdotal reports of supply chain issues in various sectors of the construction product market.
As we move into Autumn and Winter, amidst the economic uncertainty with which we are currently presented, Keylite is planning for sales to continue at today’s levels, however we stand ready to respond to category challenges as the market situation becomes clear. Slow and steady best describes the new build market in June and July.
While RMI remains strong, only time will tell how this continues. Most homes were not designed for working from home and many homeowners are adapting their homes to this new normal, or plan to. The concept of a room in the roof has never been so relevant. A recent research of UK homeowners by money.co.uk (2020 Renovation Nation Report) finds that spending more time at home has inspired almost two thirds (65%) of homeowners to invest in renovating their property, and 63% of them investing to make their home more comfortable.
The recent increase in housing market activity prompted by the government’s stamp duty changes is extremely welcome.
The Keylite team is working smarter, using technology that has now become the norm for us all and we continue to support our customers and the market as a whole.