2014: The Year of Innovation

A blog by Arran Laighton, National Electricfix Manager.

For many professional electricians 2014 has been a bumper year. Trade Pulse, a monthly index produced by Screwfix, has shown that business is booming for UK tradesmen, a sentiment which was also echoed by the finalists of Britain’s Top Tradesman. The UK-wide competition is run by Screwfix every year to recognise and reward tradesmen who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Not only was the positivity surrounding the buoyancy of our industry felt across the regional heats of the competition, it was also echoed by this year’s two highly commended national finalists – both qualified electricians – a fantastic example for the electrical trade. In fact, since the competition their diaries have got even busier and if this was not reason enough to enter the competition next year, the ‘Top Tradesman’ gets a brand new Toyota van.

So, what has a busy 2014 seen and what is expected in 2015?

2014 has certainly seen the introduction of a number of new technologically advanced products, many of which have been added to the Electricfix range allowing us to help qualified electricians meet the changing needs of their customers.

Sockets with integrated USB ports, LED lighting and twist-on connectors have all proven immensely popular and we’re looking to continue to work with a range of leading brands to develop and expand the range we offer even further in 2015.

These new products have been designed in response to the growth in technology use amongst consumers whether via smartphone, tablet, e-reader or digital camera, and present a unique opportunity for qualified electricians to grow their businesses.

For example, as most homeowners now own numerous electrical items that use a USB port or a USB plug adaptor, sockets with integrated USB charging ports have been introduced to meet the ever-changing needs of the customer. We know from our Electricfix customers that homeowners are increasingly asking for these products, and anticipate they will soon become a popular alternative to standard sockets, featuring frequently in the recommendations of qualified electricians.

LED lamps have also been hugely popular in 2014, with year-on-year sales experiencing a significant uplift. We believe one of the key reasons for this is that qualified electricians and electrical contractors are adopting the role of the ‘educator’ and helping to raise awareness among consumers on the energy-saving benefits LED offers. We anticipate that this product category will continue to expand during 2015 and are looking to enhance the options available in this range next year, to ensure professionals have access to all of the products they require.

We expect that 2015 will also see a growth in the twist-on connector market, already widely popular in North America. Today’s twist-on connectors offer a modern cable connection solution, providing numerous time and cost saving benefits for professional electricians. When we know so many qualified electricians are busier than ever, products such as twist-on connectors which offer a quality, safe finish, very efficiently, are an ideal solution.

As confidence amongst the trade continues to grow and electricians become busier than ever, it’s important that we work together as an industry to build on this success in 2015 and offer the end consumer a professional and efficient service. At Electricfix, we will be working to support our customers in this approach by giving them the products they need, when they need them, whether that’s via our nationwide network of stores or our popular website, www.electricfix.com.

For more information on Electricfix’s range of products, visit www.electricfix.com call 0808 172 7000 or mobile-friendly on 03330 112 333, pick up a copy of the catalogue at a local Electricfix store or order it online.

* Trade Pulse is a monthly survey of 500 UK tradesmen conducted by Screwfix.