Positivity surrounds industry amidst consumer spending rise, but skills shortages could stifle growth
*Not all figures will add up to 100% because there was the option to answer n/a for some questions.
Installers expect to win business, and are widely confident about the industry, in 2016 and expect consumer spending to continue to increase.
However, issues such as skills shortages are holding some companies back and throttling investment and growth.
These findings come from the much anticipated annual Consumer Protection Association installer barometer.
The CPA commissioned Insight Data to carry out the survey, which asked over 12,000 installers a series of questions on their business performance and expectations for the industry.
The barometer compares business performance between 2014 and 2015 and also asks installers whether they think sales and profits will increase or decrease in 2016.
When polled about how business performance in 2015 compared to 2014, 48% said profit margins had increased, with 39% saying they had stayed the same and 10% saying they had decreased.
This can be attributed to a rise in work within both the retail and commercial markets.
52% of respondents said retail jobs had increased for them over the past year, compared to 6% who said it had decreased.
On the commercial side 39% of installers said work had increased, and 32% said it had remained the same.
Looking forwards, installers are upbeat about the industry for 2016.
74% expect growth across the industry, compared to just 3% who don’t, and 61% expect consumer spending on home improvements to increase this year, with 39% saying they expect it to stay the same.
Businesses are already facing issues finding workers with the skillsets they need and it seems this trend is likely to continue, which could make growth difficult for those looking to invest.
When asked about future employment opportunities, 35% said they expected this to improve, 45% said they would remain the same and 19% said it would worsen.
The survey also asked businesses what they would like to see more of in the industry in 2016.
81% said premium products with unique selling opportunities, helping them satisfy demand for high-end products in the retail market.
Jeremy Brett, director at the CPA, comments: “Positivity surrounds the industry, but problems such as the skills shortage and a need to have a product range that stand out in an increasingly competitive market are the concerns. As ever the results were fascinating and give us an insight into the industry and the challenges facing our members.”