This month the British retailer is celebrating a significant milestone – opening its 400th branch in Balham, South West London. Part of the Travis Perkins plc Group, and headquartered in Bridgwater, Somerset, Toolstation supplies tools, accessories and building supplies to the trade nationwide.
The business has enjoyed ten consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. Most recent trading results in Q3 2019 showed growth of 21.3%, and 15.4% on a like-for-like basis*. Turnover in 2018 was £354m.
One of the key initiatives to deliver growth has been the accelerated branch expansion programme. In 2019, the business opened more than one new branch per week, opening 67 branches in total, and creating over 800 new jobs. The business is continuing to invest in its retail network with 60 new branches planned in 2020.
This success is built on a simple principle of convenience; supporting the trade and keen DIY customers by being the ‘best mate for the job’. This means having market leading products at great prices, making it easy for customers to buy online or by phone, and having products delivered or available to pick-up from branches. The strategy is paying dividends, reflected by strong sales growth.
Toolstation works hard to maintain low prices, and importantly across the right range of products. Toolstation stocks 20,000 products on its website and in its catalogue, up from 11,000 in 2017. Success has come from listening to the requirements of our trade customers and stocking the leading brands they want and trust.
The popularity of the five-minute Click & Collect service means that 80% of orders are collected from branches demonstrating that proximity and opening hours are important to customers. Having an extensive branch network ensures a Toolstation is always nearby. In London, Toolstation has successfully opened branches on high streets, making it easy for customers working in the area to drop by to pick up the materials they need. Branches are open seven days a week, and from this month, have extended their opening hours to 7am – 8pm Monday to Friday.
Since the launch of the new website in December 2018, with improvements to the user experience, desktop interactions have increased by nearly a fifth. Sales through mobile interactions are up by 97%. The digital transformation is set to continue in 2020 with plans for further development in smartphone functionality.
Whilst supported by the digital platform, people remain at the heart of the business and since 2018, Toolstation has worked hard to improve employee engagement.
James Mackenzie, Toolstation Managing Director, commented: ‘Toolstation is one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK. We are bucking the trend, with our growth coming from delivering convenience for our trade customers through their buying experience and as a low-cost, lean and efficient business. This is demonstrated by our branch format, which is smaller than traditional retailers, fitting well into industrial estates and even on local high streets. For example, we now have 64 branches in London and by being able to open branches in high street locations, like our recent branch in Putney, we are able to access areas closer to where our customers need us.
2020 is set to be another big year for us with the continued expansion of our retail network. We will also be adding to our product range and maintaining low prices, in turn supporting our customers.”
Toolstation, established in 2003, is part of Travis Perkins PLC. The association with Travis Perkins began in 2008, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary in 2014. Toolstation is one of the fastest growing businesses in the Group and today employs over 4,000 people in the UK.