Well, Britain’s economy finally made it back into positive growth territory, albeit by a paltry 0.1% ! Lets be thankful for small mercies – it has ended the longest British recession since World War One ended. The big question now is; will we sustain the growth or are we headed for the dreaded double dip back into recessionary negative growth ?
This may be the stuff of macro politics and crushingly boring for most people, but there is no doubt that the recession has negatively impacted virtually every aspect of the sound and lighting industry. Can we predict that an economic upturn will precipitate a return to a more healthy industry ?
The feelgood factor associated with sustained growth will stimulate the confidence of people to spend on their leisure time. Having said that there are still massive issues and challenges to face for the sound and lighting manufacturing and services industries, these include :
There will be a general election this year, a notoriously unpredictable time
The relative strength of the dollar and Euro will continue to force product prices up for UK business
The continuing leverage of very low cost manufacturing in China, India and other growing economies will make the UK less competitive and more reliant on imports
There are definite signs that the sound and lighting retail sector is picking up, albeit slowly. We are seeing an increase in enquiries with people cautiously prepared to spend.
The traditional areas such as weddings, disco’s, parties and so on are starting to ramp up as is the installation market. Pubs and clubs are now looking for ways to entice the returning revellers to their venues with party nights, karaoke, etc., places of worship are installing quality sound systems, schools are investing in multi purpose ‘venue’ development with impressive sound and lighting, and so on.
So, are the good times back ? Not yet, but I do sense that the cautious customers are returning, looking for good value, high quality, high reliability solutions with great pre and post sales support. That’s the customer experience that LSL must deliver if we are to continue our success – and we will deliver on this ambition !