Leading luxury glazing specialists, Express Bi-Folding Doors successfully capitalised on consumer pent-up demand in the housing sector to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic impact.

Leeds based Express Bi-Folding Doors, the leading name in bespoke bi-fold & sliding doors and windows, was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With much of the business previously reliant on customer footfall to the business’ four showrooms across the UK, the government enforced lockdown restrictions stunted their operations. But with a shift in public demand powered by homeowners’ desire to maximise leisure space and work from home solutions, Express is bouncing-back with demand exceeding pre-lockdown levels.

Like most businesses, Express were forced to completely shut down operations due to COVID-19. Adapting to the ever-changing climate, Express were able to partially re-open in May with a skeleton staff, before making their showrooms available to visit by appointment only in June, with full COVID-19 compliant restrictions in place.

As a result of lockdown restrictions and logistical issues created due to the pandemic, the bespoke window specialists, who employee 230 staff members, has seen their turnover plunge by £3.5million down from £28million the previous year.

However, with the relaxing of restrictions allowing people to visit the four luxury, purpose -showrooms based in Leeds, Glasgow, Redhill & Romford, the summer months have shown an increase in demand, with Express Bi-Folding Doors now 14% up on the same three month period last year; including a record month in June, second best month ever in July, and the best ever August in their 10-year history. The Autumn marks the start of a new financial year and sales in September have once again surpassed record levels and are forecast to be 75% up on the same month last year.

Steve Bromberg, Managing Director at Express Bi-Folding Doors commented: “It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a real spanner in the works this year. Like almost every business, the pandemic hit us hard and forced us to re-evaluate the way we work.

“With a large part of our business centred on prospective customers visiting our four showrooms across the UK in Leeds, Glasgow, and two in London, lockdown restrictions significantly hampered our business.

“The easing of lockdown restrictions, combined with our modern approach of creating virtual tours for each of our showrooms throughout lockdown, meant we were able to showcase our new market leading products to customers on the lookout for home improvements, and secure a healthy order pipeline for when installations became possible.

“Of course, due to the pandemic, the future is uncertain, which means that we have to tread carefully as a business, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for our industry and we have adapted procedure and invested in online showrooms to mitigate any storm.

“Consumer confidence is really shaky now because of the media and the fact that we’re now in a recession – and trust in a company is vital for consumers. I firmly believe that we’re now seeing a surge in sales because customers want to buy from an established and trusted brand. A lot of companies have ceased trading in the past twelve months, and many companies are seeing their supply chain affected by the pandemic, so because have a solid infrastructure and are established as the market leaders in our industry, we’re now trading at record levels and continuing to grow as a business, in spite of the pandemic.”