Scorching summer temperatures have been netting huge profits for stakeholders in the air-conditioning business.
Corporate, residential, and even automobile clients have reportedly been flocking to stores, which sell A/C units, fans, and other cooling systems leaving some local businesses out of stock and contemplating expansion.
“From August and September 2018 to 2019 sales have actually gone up 33 per cent because of these heat waves that are passing,” Director/Owner of Subzero Services Ltd Allan Hodgkinson reported.
“People are saying that they just can’t take the heat and the lack of wind. We actually had someone coming in from Bottom Bay. I never sold an air condition in Bottom Bay before but if Bottom Bay is hot, then everywhere is hot in this island because that is where the wind comes from first.”
According to Hodgkinson, the company’s primary business is maintenance and servicing, but this has expanded with the demand for new units.
“Because it is so hot, air conditioning units that are not serviced start to drip or ice up and the customers call us and nine times out of ten it is because of poor maintenance,” he said.
In light of the tremendous uptick in sales and recent predictions of hotter days ahead, the business owner plans to engage a more proactive sales strategy.
“My future plan is to take 2019 and multiply it by two in terms of what we order to keep us for the year, because this year has been absolutely insane in air-condition sales versus 2018, 2017 and 2016.
So the main thing is keeping the equipment in stock, but it is so hard because the one time you buy 50, someone comes and buys 20 from you right away and you were thinking it could last you two weeks and it disappears in one day. So for me, it’s just to try and purchase more and keep more in stock so that we can satisfy the demand,” told Barbados TODAY.
At popular chain Cost-U-Less, a supervisor said the popular 16-inch LASKO fans were completely sold out, leaving just a “couple” Tower Fans, and a gap of over a week before more stock arrives.
“All small A/C units are sold out… there are only 10,000 and 12,000’s [air conditioning units] left,” the official reported.
“The majority of questions we’re hearing are about fans and even on a day like today [Monday] when rain is falling, customers are still coming in to ask about the fans.”
Automobile Air-conditioning units have reportedly also been selling “like crazy”, according to Managing Director of Cool Air Auto Clinic Kandrew Callendar.
“We have seen an increase of about 30 or 40 percent over the previous months,” reported Callendar who acknowledged a steady flow of both commercial and private vehicles.
“I have never seen a year like this before. I have never seen so many people so eager to have their A/C repaired and even if they don’t have the money to repair it, they are willing to try something.”
In response to the demand, the business has implemented a number of specials and discounts on parts and services.
Callendar also revealed plans for minor expansion.
“We have no room to expand as far as size is concerned but we are bringing on two additional technicians from next month. Outside of that, we have increased the volume of parts we are bringing in,” he said.
“There is a lot going on in the automotive industry in terms of air conditioning. We have now invested heavily in equipment for recovering, re-gassing and testing. We have also invested in diagnostic equipment, so we are ready for the challenge.”