Brits may have splashed out on coffee machines and new TVs at the start of lockdown but they are also investing in more prosaic kit: the humble boiler.
The country’s second largest boiler installer, BOXT, has reported a jump in sales of more than 75 per cent year on year in the first two weeks of June, building on increases of 25 per cent year on year in the first few weeks of lockdown.
Leeds-based BOXT sees itself as a market disrupter and a deal with Google in 2019 allowed it to become the first national business to offer voice-controlled heating systems.
With significant investment from Robert Bosch as part of a £10m raise, BOXT delivered £26m of turnover BOXT delivered £26m of turnover in year ending 31 March 2020. With 1.6 million boiler replacements per year taking place in the UK, the firm is targeting an increase to more than £50m this year.
The firm has also seen interest spike in its air conditioning service, which filters for microbes, and its ‘SOS’ installation service – designed particularly for elderly customers most vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With March being a key month for boiler sales, we had concerns about how business might play out when coronavirus started to take a firm grip on the UK.” said Andy Kerr, co-founder of BOXT.
“However as soon as lockdown was announced, our ecommerce model and platform really came into its own and gave us a solid foundation with which to react. The rate of sales was unprecedented.
“Our technology was designed very specifically to streamline the quotation and booking process to make it so simple for the consumer, it would remove the antiquated and time consuming sales technique of having a surveyor come into your home first to quote for the job – which has paid dividends at a time when people are very rightly concerned about having tradespeople in their homes. ”