A Spring update by Chris Gibson MD
It is hard to believe that it is now over a year since the first lockdown back in March 2020 when we, like all other businesses, had to very quickly adapt our working practices to operate within some very tight trading restrictions. From the beginning our priority has always been to ensure we protect our staff, customers and suppliers which remains the same today.
Although the first quarter of 2021 hasn’t been as we had all hoped with restrictions in place, we have continued to adapt our working practices to ensure we continue to operate safely whilst working hard to keep our commitments to all our customers and prepare their machines ready for the spring season.
Spring is historically a busy time of year for us but with demonstration events and open days all having restrictions due to the pandemic we have continued to shift our customer communication efforts online and have increased our activity on social media platforms and on our website. These have included some short demonstration and machinery walk-around videos – meaning we can ‘virtually’ take the machine to customers when a physical demonstration isn’t possible.
Thankfully, the crocuses of hope have bloomed and with the NHS vaccine rollout going so well and infection rates much lower, there does finally seem to be a pathway back to normality for us all. We have now re-opened our showrooms and it has been great to welcome customers back. We will obviously continue to promote social distancing, and good hygiene to maintain customer confidence when stepping inside our showrooms but it’s great to finally refocus our attentions to the machinery we promote and the key features and benefits these offer to our customers.
During the lockdown period we have been busy looking at what else we can offer customers and we have recently introduced several new product lines to our portfolio that support some of our environmental initiatives. Battery technology is only going to continue developing and is certainly a big shift that is developing across the industry. Our new battery ranges provide a range of low noise, zero emission solutions for our customers, these not only include an ever-growing range of battery handheld equipment and pedestrian mowers but with the introduction of the Ariens Zenith E to our range we have a fully commercial lithium battery powered ride on mowers UK. The new ranges compliment the popular Husqvarna Automower – The world leader in robotic mowing, which has certainly continued to take the auto-mowing market by storm. What will be the next development in Battery Powered equipment?
The traditional annual shows and events season will soon be upon us and with many either cancelling or changing the format of their show substantially, coupled with an uncertainty from some customers as to whether attending a public event is the right thing to do so soon after restrictions ease, we have made the decision to not exhibit for 2021. We will however still be supporting the shows in any way we can through sponsorship etc and will work with them to assist where we can. Our aim is to hopefully be able to hold an internal customer event later in the year(restrictions permitting).
As we move through Spring, there is plenty to be positive about, the weather is improving, temperatures are rising, the days are lighter, golf and outdoor sports are back and there is the smell of freshly cut grass in the air. There is a real sense of optimism that we’ll be back to some form of normality by the end of June.