“Enough to sand the M1”
3 March 2021
Although we now have the Government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions, it’s still likely that many people will decide to postpone overseas holiday plans and stay closer to, or at, home.
If so, hirers and equipment suppliers can expect to be busy as homeowners tackle house and garden improvements, like they did last summer. It’s a phenomenon that’s been mentioned frequently on the blog.
Indeed, Steve Webb, operations director of Premier Diamond Products (PDP), tells me that “from June onwards we’ve hardly been able to keep up with demand. In August and September we placed substantial orders with our factory partners before steep container surcharges were introduced, so our early actions helped us.
“During the first lockdown we saw an unprecedented leap in sales of certain products, most notably coated abrasives and diamond blades as people sanded floors and built patios,” says Steve. “There was also a DIY boom which created demand for our entry-level professional grade products.”
PDP recently moved to new custom-designed premises in Herne Bay from its previous Canterbury location. Moving was first mooted in 2017 but there was a lack of suitable commercial property.
Previously the company operated from three separate buildings on the one industrial estate, so bringing everything under one roof gives greater efficiency and a quadrupling of pallet locations (pictured above) for larger stock holdings.
PDP received the keys to the shell building in June 2020 and the fit-out was interrupted by Covid-19 restrictions, but the company used its own contractors to install a mezzanine floor.
New products will be introduced from June onwards including bonded abrasives like metal cutting and grinding discs, plus zirconium and ceramic flap discs. Additional diamond blades and cores, SDS-Plus and SDS-Max products and power tool consumables like jig saw and reciprocating saw blades will also be offered.
Going back to the busy period last summer, Steve recalls that, “Overall, we are 35% up in sales since June compared to the same period a year ago and hirers have definitely been ordering more from us.
“We sold more than 400,000 floor sanding sheets in three months. That’s probably enough to sand the length of the M1!” he laughs.