David Sanders, sales and marketing director, Blum UK
"2020 seems, in retrospect to be a year of four quarters. Up to and including March, saw a hive of industry in our business with KBB Birmingham dominating out thoughts. There was a real buzz of positivity and excitement, we had invested a great deal of time and effort into our stand and were looking forward to showcasing it to the industry.
Of course we all know that, by the build-up for the show on the first weekend of March, coronavirus was proving to be more than 'just the flu' that we had all supposed, and a bit of doubt and anxiety was starting to set in.
The second quarter was completely dominated by the unprecedented fact of closing our business, even including the logistics side. We managed to stay open to send out the final few orders, but after that, like every other business in the UK, apart from essential ones of course, we followed the Government instructions and closed our doors. We were closed for a full five weeks, and then slowly opened up one day at a time, until, by the end of June we were back to full operation.
The third quarter showed an explosion of activity, which is its own way was almost as difficult to deal with. We are all familiar with the fact that homeowners, denied the ability to go on holiday, decided to renovate their homes. So, the super-quick and forceful recovery led to a wall of demand from our customers.
At present, in the fourth quarter, we are still dealing with the challenge of such exceptional demand. Luckily the limitations of this second lockdown are not as rigorous as the first, so we have been able to keep our business fully operational.
Summarising, I think we could describe 2020 as the definition of feast and famine.
Looking forward to the first quarter of 2021, we don’t anticipate any drop in demand. Like everyone in our industry, the feast and famine has bought supply problems, and there are certain product lines that are challenging to say the least. Nevertheless, I’m extremely optimistic that 2021 will be better than 2020.