Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins has predicted a “renaissance” for the British high street after bumper lockdown trading put his company on track for a record year.
The outspoken chief executive said that while the pandemic had sparked major challenges for businesses, the “death” of the traditional UK economy was being “greatly exaggerated”.
“A year ago, analysts were convinced the pandemic would sound the final death knell of the high street and office-based working. Twelve months down the track I see people desperate to be with each other, to eat, drink and do business face to face rather than logging into reams of soulless video calls,” he said.
“The idea that working from home is going to empty out the UK’s offices permanently has already been proven false and as ridiculous retail rental values start to tumble, I suspect our high streets are about to undergo some form of a renaissance.”
The bullish comments came as Pimlico Plumbers revealed it was on track for its most successful financial results in its 42-year history.
The London-based firm said it had booked sales of £40m so far this year and was forecasting revenue of roughly £48m in the year to the end of May.
The outlook comes after two consecutive record quarters for the firm culminating in March, which was its best ever month of trading with sales of £4.6m.
Mullins, who earlier this year became the first UK boss to plot a ‘no jab, no job’ policy, credited the bumper results to his company’s ability to maintain trading through lockdowns and increase its job completion rate by 10 per cent.
Pimlico Plumbers has also cashed in on increased levels of home repairs and maintenance work as Brits were forced to stay at home, as well as an uptick in home renovations during the pandemic.
“Clearly, we have been operating in extraordinary times, but I think that the way we came to grips with the new working environment, putting in additional safety measures like thermal scanning and routine Covid testing, as well as utilising literally tonnes on PPE and thousands of gallons of sanitiser, have allowed us to continue to win more work and serve our customers,” Mullins said.
“Undoubtedly, we’ve benefitted from people staying at home this year, while we did have a drop in commercial jobs, but I expect more of a balance going forward as our business customers return to their premises.”