2020 has been defined by quarantine and social distancing, with us all having to change our normal way of lives and habits. Hands, face, space has become the mandate of the year. With tight restrictions on travel, including travel bans and quarantine periods, along with the closure of the hospitality sector for a large portion of 2020, homeowners diverted their disposable income into renovation work.
Many of us we have fallen in love with our homes and gardens again as they have provided us a safe haven. Therefore it is no surprise that the home improvement sector has boomed since the end of the first national lockdown and with gardens allowing consumers the opportunity to create their own slice of paradise – holiday at home, along with providing a whole host of health benefits sales of outdoor furniture, hot tubs/spas, outdoor kitchens, firepits and patio canopies & pergolas have sorn.
We have been fortunate enough to be a business that has benefited from the new norm way of life when others have been forced to close or completely re-adapt. There has however been many pressures on the supply chain due to the surge in demand and our team from top level operations through to our production and installation technicians on the floor have worked tirelessly to deliver our products on time, to the highest standards. In fact, when many of our competitors lead times were increasing four-fold, our average lead time only increased by 1 week, which is a great accomplishment and one which I wish to thank the entire CB team for their dedication to getting the job done and their flexible working pattern to allow us to meet client demands.
Additionally, I would like to thank every customer who has entrusted us to enhance their home and/or garden this year with our innovative external shading systems. Your confidence in our brand; product & service is gratefully appreciated and we are humbled for your support. Furthermore, thank you to all our trade partners who have specified our products and used us as their key supplier and also to our entire supply chain for pulling out all the necessary stops to ensure minimal disruptions.
Whilst 2020 has not been the year we envisaged this time last year, it has been a truly successful year, with growth of more than 42%. We have also picked up many accolades including winning Family Business United ‘Peoples Choice Award’ in East & East Anglia and our most sought after terrace covering, the Outdoor Living Pod winning Real Homes Best Garden Buy 2020. I have also been privileged to have been headline speaker at the East Anglia (virtual) Business Forum.
As we look forward to 2021, whilst there are many uncertainties about our way of life, we remain optimistic about and have implemented many additional measures to ensure we can meet with the expected increased demand for our products. Our exciting factory extension which is likely to be completed by Easter will be welcomed by all the team as this will enable us continue to reduce lead times through greater stockholding and increased production capacity. Additional installation vehicles have been ordered and we are undergoing a vigorous recruitment drive and training programme to bolster our team.
All that remains for me to say is to wish all our customers and their families a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Stay safe, keep well.