Tag Archive | "A1"

REBOOT FOR ROTHERHAM RETAIL

Tags: , , , ,

REBOOT FOR ROTHERHAM RETAIL


There’s a new broom sweeping through Rotherham retail outlet Leisureways – both literally and metaphorically – as new owner David Clarke is having a clearout.

When we arrived to have a look around, a large stock cleanse was in its final stages. Already, lots of old references had been packed up and sent back to suppliers. As we toured the stockroom, which was busy undergoing a complete reprofile, Clarke said: “One rep who came in today said: ‘David, the value of this stock is exactly nothing but as a gesture of goodwill we’ll give you £250.’”

“Everyone who has been here has seen what is potentially a very good customer,” he added, noting that so far he’d had nothing but support and goodwill from the various suppliers who have presumably sensed that the 60 year old family business has been given a rare opportunity for growth.

Previously a member of the A1 Motor Stores group, the shop is now part of UAN, along with the rest of David Clarke’s Chesterfield-based Autosupplies Group. However, he has been careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, acknowledging that local affection for certain brands is very strong. “I’ve been learning here as well” he said.

READ: AUTOSUPPLIES COMPLETES LEISUREWAYS ACQUISITION

“I was just about to get rid of Millers Oils when the lad rang up with £700 worth of orders. He came and saw me in Chesterfield where I told him that I owed him an apology for nearly booting his stock out! I’ve done a U-turn and now you’ll see a lot of Millers’ stock in here,” Clarke declared.

LONG ROOTS

As with many family businesses, Leisureways in Rotherham can trace its roots through multiple businesses operating under different names and over various sites across the decades. Originally called Rotherham Rebore, the business was later expanded to offer car parts for the trade and the DIY motorist, as well as a range of camping and sporting goods (hence the name Leisureways).

As legend has it, a very young Seb Coe is said to have bought his first pair of trainers at Leisureways, and to have been so impressed with the service that he agreed to open a bright and airy new showroom for the firm shortly after breaking the world 800m record in 1981.

The current site was developed from an old BT building in the 1990s and sits on a plot we estimate to be around 40,000 sq ft, though various tennant businesses, including a garage, a takeaway and a therapy room, are based on the same site.

Through all the changes, the Hinchcliffe family has remained an integral part of the operation. Brothers Ron and Trevor Hinchcliffe have been at the helm for decades, with various family members helping them along the way. So it’s only natural that when the time came for them to retire and sell up, they were keen for the business to continue running, rather than see the site being snapped up by a developer.

CLEAN SWEEP

Which is where David Clarke, owner of Chesterfield-based Autosupplies Group came in. In point of fact he had been working behind the scenes with the Hinchcliffes for over a year before the deeds were finally exchanged. Even on the day of our visit, which was a week or so after the deal had been completed, both Hinchcliffe brothers were on site to assist with the handover.

But just because there is bonhomie with the previous management doesn’t mean it’s business as usual at the retailer. As someone who has spent his working life selling hard parts and body shop consumables to the trade, Clarke saw little future in trying to sell fringe products like running shoes and squash racquets to the public. Instead, his plan is to drastically improve the firm’s trade factor proposition.

“At the moment, turnover is around 90 percent retail and ten percent trade,” he said. “In 18 months’ time I expect those numbers to be turned around.” That doesn’t mean that the firm is going to reduce its retail space; the recent addition of several new stock lines and the replacement of the sports gear with displays of Bosch goods and Sealey tools suggests the opposite is true.

Rather, a radical overhaul of the firm’s offering to garages is currently underway. Once new racking is installed (some of which was being brought in as we spoke) and filled with new stock, the push to all garages in the triangle between Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley can begin. A room currently used as a sort of computer graveyard has been earmarked as a dedicated call centre and Clarke’s project manager Allan Dannatt is on site to help get things running smoothly. The number of vans operating out of the branch has already been increased from one to three, and when we mention that a building of the size could run, say 15 vans, Clarke said without hesitation: “Yes, I think that’s about right.”

The site will go some way to helping Autosupplies achieve its goal of covering South Yorkshire, but no-one is saying it will be easy. ECP are highly active in this region, as is rival independent chain Bullseye.

Still, a combination of a known and trusted local brand mixed with Clarke’s shrewd business sense and desire to succeed? We wouldn’t bet against them.

Posted in Out and About with CATComments (0)

WRS MOTOR FACTORS JOINS A1 BUYING GROUP

Tags: , , , , ,

WRS MOTOR FACTORS JOINS A1 BUYING GROUP


Somerset-based WRS Motor Factors Ltd has joined buying group A1.

New brands will arrive at WRS

Weston Recovery Services (WRS) was established in Weston-Super-Mare by Robert and Lynn Hopkins in 1983. Today, it has an around the clock breakdown and recovery service.

WRS Motor Factors Ltd was subsequently incorporated in 2006 after some years trading under the Weston Recovery Services umbrella. Operating out of four branches across the Somerset area; Weston-Super-Mare, Shepton Mallet, Wellington and Bridgwater, it supplies many brands such as NGK, Lucas, Mahle and Britpart, as well as stocking a full range of Motaquip products.

Martin Tier of WRS, said: “It’s very important that we have a voice and aren’t just a number and after speaking with them, we feel A1 offer the right environment for us.

“Communication is a key part of this group,” says Simon Salloway, Head of Operations at A1. “We’re all working together. Everyone’s feedback and input is valued, and our combined knowledge and purchasing power form the foundations of our collective success. By listening to each other and working together, we can get a stronger hold in this increasingly competitive industry.”

The businesses trade as WRS Motaquip and this won’t change as the company will continue to buy hard parts from Motaquip. However, the move will widen the factor’s access to brands.

The A1 Motor Factor Group has added a number of well- known names to its network of suppliers in recent months. These include Hella-Hengst, Federal-Mogul and National Auto Parts.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, latest news, News, Retailer NewsComments (0)

EPIC ACCESSORIES GETS TRICO VAN

Tags: , , , , ,

EPIC ACCESSORIES GETS TRICO VAN


New sporty van for Epic Accessories

Wiper blade brand Trico has presented Epic Accessories with a Trico liveried Ford Fiesta van, after the latter achieved its target during the former’s three-month promotion last year.

The vehicle was handed over to Epic Accessories owner Samantha Gutteridge at the A1 buying group’s spring trade show, which took place at the Whittlebury Hall in Towcester last month.

Speaking of her firm’s new addition, Gutteridge said: “The new vehicle will help us on both a promotional and practical level in getting the message out to potential customers that we fit wiper blades in our designated fitting bay at the rear of our store, so a huge thanks to Trico.”

Sam Robinson, Product Manager at Trico, added: “The show was a great success for us, in particular our promotional offer on Neoform retro-fit beam blades, which was well received with a number of members who placed orders for a merchandise box on the day. We also agreed plans with various members to help boost their sales, including supply of in-store signage, as well as training days to educate and support their staff on selling and fitting Trico blades.”

Posted in Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer News, Uncategorised, WipersComments (0)

TRANSFER WINDOW: NEW SUPPLIER DEALS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

TRANSFER WINDOW: NEW SUPPLIER DEALS


Fram coming to ECP

Transfer season sees clubs scouting for talent and players looking for a comfy life, aftermarket brands have also been swapping sides over the last month.

  • First of all, The Parts Alliance has announced a five-year partnership with the AA. The products will cover batteries, vehicle parts and consumables in a supply contract for five years. “We are delighted to be a business partner and supplier to the AA, one of Britain’s most trusted brands”. said Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance.
  • Meanwhile, Sogefi Filtration has signed an agreement with distribution giant Euro Car Parts, which will see the latter stock products under the Fram brand from the beginning of July. This will include the full range of light vehicle filters sold through ECP’s outlets in UK and Ireland. Nigel Duffield, Sales Director at Sogefi said: “The cooperation with Euro Car Parts is very promising and will surely contribute to further develop the presence of the brand throughout the country”.
  • The CAAR buying group has also made some signings, with oil brand Mannol now being stocked by the group’s members. The lubricant producer has had a good month, because in addition to the supply deal it also won two awards from separate German car magazines for it’s Combi Energy 5w30 Long Life oil. Andrej Gaikov from Mannol said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by CAAR’s members to be stocked in their stores. I feel this is the start of a great partnership for both of us”.
  • The A1 buying group has introduced Warwickshire-based Compressortech into its approved suppliers list. The remanufacturer of A/C compressors can now be distribute its products across the chain’s members. Gary Stephenson, Business Development Manager for Compressortech said: “A1 is a significant and recognised buying group and our thermal cooling products will further complement their expanding product ranges.
    We look forward to working with the members.”

Posted in Batteries, Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Filters, Garage News, News, Retailer News, UncategorisedComments (0)

GSF, BBC SUPERFACTORS AND A1 ADD LOCATIONS

Tags: , , , , ,

GSF, BBC SUPERFACTORS AND A1 ADD LOCATIONS


New A1 store in Leicester

Three chains have added to their network. GSF has opened a new branch to the north of Bristol, which will be its third outlet in that city. The new location is located in the Aztec business part, near a junction of the M5.

The drive to encourage trade customers to try the new branch has been headed by GSF’s Business Development Manager Leighton Phillips, who has been visiting local independent garages in the weeks running up the opening. The company says that the whole project, from inception to opening day, was completed in just eight weeks.

“We’ve got an experienced team in place who know Bristol well,” said Simon McMullen, Regional Director at GSF Car Parts. “We’re sure there’s even more potential for us around the area and we’ve been excited by the enthusiastic response already.”
Parts Alliance-owned BBC Superfactors has moved premises, just a year after first opening in Preston.

The new building boasts double the footprint at 10,000 square feet and has a full mezzanine too, boosting storage capacity to around “We needed space for tyres,”
explained Managing Director Gary Shulman. “We’re importing containers of tyres and the new unit has the facility to handle these bulk deliveries.”

Meanwhile, A1 Motor Stores has welcomed a new branch opened by a member. Mohammed Y Suleman with the help of various family members has opened an accessory shop in Leicester, which is the second branch owned by Suleman. A factoring service to the trade has led the team to buy their first parts van. Speaking of his decision to join A1, Suleman said: “The branding attracted me. The shop looks more professional with the A1 Motor Stores signage outside, and shows you are part of a bigger thing”.

Posted in Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Steering & Suspension, Tools, UncategorisedComments (0)

A1 ACQUIRES NEW MEMBERS AND WAREHOUSE SPACE

Tags: , , ,

A1 ACQUIRES NEW MEMBERS AND WAREHOUSE SPACE


A1's Simon Salloway

A1’s Simon Salloway

The A1 buying group has added Hinckley Motor Spares, Auto Bitz (Worle) Ltd and The Motorcraft Centre (Northern Ireland), to its motor factor membership.

The new appointments brings A1’s total to 174 members and 250 stores nationally, with further plans to increase numbers thanks to a 3,000 sq ft. extension on its distribution centre, opening in March.

Simon Salloway, Head of Operations at A1 Motor Stores, said. “The initial purpose for extending the existing 13,000 sq ft. warehouse, was to allow members to choose a single pick item across their basket spend of products; so if they only need one friction line, along with all their oil, they can purchase this at A1, instead of going through a supplier to put a minimal carriage order together”. He added: “We are now extending our original offering by putting a core range of items in the warehouse including friction and filtration products as well as paint lines and ancillary oils”.

Building work will commence in February, where the firm will start collaborating with its supply customers to move wares into the new space after completion.

Commenting on the new membership, Peter Lippett, Director of Auto Bitz said: “We’ve known about A1 Motor Stores for a while now. We sort of used them in their warehouse before, so we decided to sign-up”. He added: “The benefits of joining will allow us to receive rebates from companies affiliated with them, however, A1 is currently finalising the terms of our contract with them”.

The group also confirmed it will be exhibiting at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham show.

Posted in Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Retailer News, UncategorisedComments (0)

Advertisement
  • GOING VIRAL: Coronavirus spread and your business
  • PRECIOUS METAL: Why catalysts are being stolen to order
  • CAT AWARDS: Full coverage of our flagship event

more info

    • Should hand car washes face further regulation?

      View Results

      Loading ... Loading ...
    • Popular
    • Latest
    • Comments
    • Tags
    • Subscribe