Glass half full…or half empty?

I always like to promote a positive message on this weekly newsletter and in Glass Times magazine, but recent industry feedback has made me question whether I should adopt a more ‘glass half empty’ approach…

There had been some encouraging signs in January and February, including a strong start to the year for the housing sector – which typically translates to good business for home improvement companies further down the line – and that was supported by recent data from Business Pilot that leads and sales ‘rebounded’ last month.

I’m also hearing that some systems companies are ‘flying’ and certain larger fabricators are performing very well indeed.

However, that is offset by feedback from other commentators – including Glass Times columnist and MD of Pioneer Trading, Danny Williams – that data can sometimes be ‘misleading’.

According to Danny, ‘January was about where it usually was at this time of year: miserable, sombre and pessimistic’ and that many of the frame makers he has been talking to are in agreement – ie, let’s see what February and March brings, before getting to ‘happy clappy’ about a perceived spike in demand.

You can read Danny’s comments in full in the March issue of Glass Times.

In a similar, more downbeat vein, the latest figures from the Insight Data Insolvency Report, show that an additional 63 glazing industry companies closed their doors in February.

Again, you can check out a more detailed breakdown of these businesses in the March edition of Glass Times.

So, what about the positive stuff? Well, there’s still plenty of that in this week’s newsletter, including the bittersweet news that Pilkington has stopped production at its historic Watson Street Works as part of a significant investment in its Greengate site; there’s the announcement that a new Danish glass manufacturer is targeting major growth in the UK sector; trade fabricator Shepley has completed a £1million plus investment across the business and Origin has launched a new door, the first in a series of next gen products from the leading aluminium specialist.

All of which demonstrates that while we should acknowledge that the industry is facing more challenging times, we should also applaud those that are committed to growth and success in the long term.