CONS ERVATORI E S & OR ANGERI E S
Caribbean Blinds –
thriving post lockdown
Stuart Dantzic, managing director of external shading provider, Caribbean
Blinds, discusses how the company coped during lockdown and how it is now
enjoying record sales as consumers invest in their homes.
The COVID- lockdown has proved to
have been detrimental to businesses
across the globe. For the team at
Caribbean Blinds, we needed to avoid
becoming such a statistic, and so have worked hard
to ensure we put plans in place to see us continue
to grow and thrive and not make any mistakes that
could damage the long term goals of the company.
Including ambitious plans to grow the company to
an eight figure turnover, in excess of £m within
the next five years.
With the announcement of lockdown, we, like
many businesses, suspended both our production
and installation operations; a tough decision as this
had never been done in the company’s
All front-end operations remained active, and
the office team worked from home, so existing and
new projects could continue to be worked on. This
wasn’t the time to go silent on clients, so we used
the time to remain in touch with our customers,
give them peace of mind and build a sales funnel for
when we re-opened, three weeks later.
During this time, all operational processes have
been fully reviewed and new risk assessments for
every process have been created with key team
members providing input. We have implemented
strict COVID- measures to ensure the company
could re-open and operate smarter and safer
during the pandemic, minimising risk whilst allowing
operations to run ‘as normal’.
We reviewed these on a weekly basis and
updated them accordingly in line with Public
Health England guidelines and our own safety and
risk assessments. Furthermore, they were clearly
communicated not just to our team in their weekly
work packs, noticeboards, company intranet etc
but also to our clients on both our website and in all
communications to provide complete assurance.
We resumed manufacture and installation
operations on April after very careful and fully
informed consideration and with new procedures
being fully implemented. Since then the team
has been working tirelessly to execute all existing
orders on our system as quickly as possible, whilst
maintaining our high standards and ensuring new
orders run to our usual short lead times.
After careful consideration, the showroom
re-opened on Monday June,
For us, the lockdown has worked in our favour
from a business perspective. Customers began to
realise how important their home is and started to
look for ways to enhance their properties. For those
fortunate to have a garden or outdoor space, this
has become the focus as it takes them outside the
confinement of their four walls. Properties are a
safe place for consumers to spend and invest their
money, as although property prices can dip, they
always go up.
On the basis of more people now enjoying
‘staycations’ over traditional holidays, and spending
more time at home as a result, we significantly
increased our advertising across all platforms. This
represented a great opportunity for us to not only
generate interest and inspire clients with how they
could transform their gardens, but to give them
the information they needed to make an informed
In terms of the long-term impact that COVID-
lockdown has had on our business, we can report
some very positive facts and figures:
Caribbean Blinds has recorded its best May on
record and June is looking set to follow.
Enquiry levels have tripled from this time last year
and are at an all-time high with peak website visitors
at a day.
Average order values have increased to circa %
due to clients adding options such as lighting and
heating to their orders showing they are planning on
making year-round use of their outdoor living space.
With limited travel for the next -8 months,
along with a heightened desire to buy products
made in the UK, we are predicting growth at levels
greater than originally planned until end of .
We are pushing forward with our planned
,ft2 extension to our production facility
which will ensure we can continue to meet growing
demand whilst also employing more people from
the local community and cementing our future.
“Enquiry levels have tripled
from this time last year and
are at an all-time high with
peak website visitors at