What A Time For A Birthday!

A very Happy New Year – 2021 has started as we left off, but at least there are signs of an improving situation. Meanwhile, to make sure that we get there, the country is in full lockdown.

We hope that you, your families and colleagues are all safe and managing to cope with this extremely difficult situation.

Trading Update

Here at FORT it’s business as usual, because apart from the first 2 months of our trading life, COVID-19 has been a permanent feature. We had to adapt rapidly and our team have coped brilliantly with everything that we’ve had to deal with.

Although COVID has changed things for everyone, it was great to see Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP (Secretary of State, Dept. Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) write a letter re-confirming the importance of the construction sector and that "Whether delivering on large or small construction sites, and in peoples’ homes across the country, in builders’ merchants, designing and project managing schemes or producing construction and mineral products, you are making a major contribution to the economic recovery." We're all trying to balance safety with necessary continuation of projects.

For all of our Customers who visit the Membury site, you’ll see that we’ve set up some new arrangements for collections. The biggest change is that the trade counter is temporarily sited at the front door. We also ask that just 1 Customer comes into that area at any one time.

Face masks, sanitising and a range of other measures have all been increased – our plan is to keep this as tight as we can until the vaccination programme finally comes through to build sufficient immunity. Ventilation is a key element of this and so we’re freezing cold, most of the time!

We know that some of this is inconvenient and we’re grateful for your tolerance and patience. Quite simply, we need to protect everyone.

FORT is 1 Year Old!

FORT is now officially 1 year old. Our birthday is 10th January. We’re very grateful for your support and quite simply ‘we couldn’t have done this without you’.

Looking back to when we first opened, or even further to when we first took on the site we now call home, we've come a long way!

General Overview

COVID-19 is obviously the primary problem and will remain so until April at the earliest. However, UK and other stock markets continue to rally. Oil prices are still rising. These are all signs of optimism.

Demand remains strong. We continually ask our Customers about workloads and the vast majority are busy with work ahead. Working from home, the desire to have larger garden and living space and moving from cities is all expanding our market sector.

Prices continue to harden – we do not want to make too much of this, but it’s important to consider when quoting on work for the future.

Brexit has happened and a deal is in place to avoid tariffs. Availability will be affected in some areas.

In general terms, things are looking quite good, across the board:

Timber is about as good as we’ve seen for some time.

Concrete products such as roof tiles and block paviours are still on very long lead times.

'Craig's Collections' Special Offers

We're not making a song and dance about trying to encourage customers to our site in the current situation, but for those of you that are arranging collections, Craig has set up a couple of special offers for the month:

Sheets of 22mm chipboard flooring are offered at £7.99+VAT, while the ever popular 100mm loft roll is at £16.99+VAT.

Get in touch if you'd like to know more!

As we said previously, you need to be very cautious about forward pricing on jobs. The likelihood of stable or falling material prices is extremely low.

As always,
please do not assume stock availability - check with the sales office!