Pimlico Plumbers, the UK’s largest independent home services company, is reporting a bounce in sales for the first half of July, pointing to signs of economic improvement in London.
In contrast to recent, backward-looking GDP economic data, the company has seen turnover increase by more than 10% on the same period in 2019 with sales up £150,000 compared to the first two weeks of July last year.
If sales are maintained at this level, Pimlico will see monthly income for July reach close to £4m, an additional £500,000 in comparison to July 2019.
This is supported by Pimlico booking in more than £280,000 worth of pre-scheduled jobs in a single week, across trades including plumbing and heating, electrics, and carpentry, which is a record in the company’s 40-year history.
Indications of this growth were first seen in June when sales began to recover, albeit below 2019 levels, following the easing of coronavirus restrictions enabling the company to undertake more planned home services work than the emergency-only jobs it completed during lockdown.
As a result of an increase in activity, the company, which has more than 250 professional tradespeople operating across the capital, is increasing its office-based workforce with a number of staff returning to the business from furlough. It is also rejecting the government’s £1,000 furlough incentive.
Charlie Mullins OBE, founder and Chairman of Pimlico Plumbers said, “There has been little good economic news since lockdown began, but I think there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Some experts have speculated that this time the recovery could be as lightning-fast as the collapse and in our business, we are seeing sales data to back up that theory.
“In past recessions, planned work has always been the first to go as people switch to doing only essential and emergency work. This time my plumber’s barometer is behaving very differently. I believe this is being influenced by people spending money on their homes they had earmarked for foreign holidays.
“I can’t speak for all businesses, and obviously lots of work needs to be done to get vital sectors like gyms and beauty salons to again be valuable contributors to the economy, but I am hopeful that the amount of activity and consumer confidence in the U-bend related sector will transfer to a rapid about-face in the fortunes for the rest of UK PLC.”