Tarmac’s Dr Bill Price turns his thoughts to Winter
Although we are only just entering the start of November, the Christmas hard sell has started in the supermarkets-Mince pie anyone? Is there anything in a similar vein that might be appropriate for Builders Merchants, time for a bit of a deep think maybe?
Realistically, building materials are not going to feature on many Christmas lists. A gift wrapped pallet of bricks is both hard to disguise and not calculated to improve marital harmony – so what other options are available?
Of course, the weather will be a major factor as usual. A mild November and December (not without precedent) and life will go on pretty much as usual. Materials needed to complete domestic extensions and small developments will be flying out of the doors. Cement and concrete products can still be used if the temperature is above about 3 oC and if suitable overnight protection is given to newly place mortar or concrete.
If, however, the dire warnings in the press about a hard winter to come are proved correct, that avenue will be closed off and alternative markets will need to be considered. Handy indoor work (including plumbing) and painting & decorating can still go on, and it’s also a time when a builder can examine his tools and equipment, look at what’s still OK and just needs cleaning or what really, really, really, needs replacing.
If temptingly situated on or near a trade counter, a small display of books on building tips or building/garden design (hard landscaping) might also persuade customer to tarry awhile and hopefully remember something that they had forgotten. It would also give customers something to read over the long dark winter, so that they return in spring brimming with new ideas. Worth a try – it can’t do any harm, can it?
Let’s hope that the next few months remain mild and that we all prosper. If not, there’s always the hibernation option to consider!