‘We are in unprecedented times’ – if only I had a pound for every time that was said… Much of the noise in the national discourse is currently focused on economic predictions of dire and desperate times ahead. With the Chancellor’s recent windfall tax to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, and the World Bank saying a global recession will be difficult to avoid, we are all too aware of an undercurrent of fear.

Yet, in the bathroom sector we are telling a different story.

Having experienced a strong year in 2021 with record-breaking sales, 2022 is continuing to bring positive news, with steady increases in total sales of BMA members in the first quarter.  

Builders’ merchants are also positive, about the prospects for 2022 with MRA Research’s Pulse survey showing nearly one in two merchants expect sales to grow by 46%, with 36% expecting sales to increase by up to 9%. A further two in three expect sales to grow by more than that.

Doom and gloom is not my style and, while of course we need to consider the economic headwinds, the negative Nancies will not bring me down.

In the months and years ahead, I see opportunity and scope for more growth.

If the government boosts the economy and properly protects those most vulnerable, there is no reason why we cannot improve productivity and enjoy more record-breaking years of bathroom sales ahead.

This sentiment is shared by our members at BMA, who are remaining upbeat, having overcome so many crises recently, affecting supply, costs and operations.

They can see the property market has remained reasonably buoyant, and many people are continuing to work from home, driving demand for big-ticket buys like kitchens and bathrooms.

The UK media is excellent at talking ourselves into a recession and it is critical that we don’t just accept that commentary.

The last couple of years in business have been challenging and frustrating at times, with no sense of what to expect next.

But in reality, that has created fresh perspectives, new ideas and innovation. This mentality will hopefully serve us well, as we all tackle whatever unprecedented scenarios lie ahead.

Maybe predictions of doom and gloom are unfounded, and maybe too the wish for thing to settle down.
In the world of business, we would do well to throw out the predefined response plan, and instead foster the right attitudes to look ahead with growth and opportunity at the forefront of our minds.