Tag Archive | "A1 Motor Stores"

AUTOSUPPLIES COMPLETES LEISUREWAYS ACQUISITION

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AUTOSUPPLIES COMPLETES LEISUREWAYS ACQUISITION


Chesterfield-based Autosupplies Group has successfully completed the purchase of Leisureways (The Happy Motorist) of Rotherham.

Leisureways is a long-established family business and until the acquisition, was a member of the A1 Motor Stores buying group.

Trevor Hinchliffe and David Clarke shake on the deal

READ: GSF, BBC SUPERFACTORS AND A1 ADD LOCATIONS

Autosupplies’ MD David Clarke thanked the previous owners for a smooth transition and said: “We are placing considerable investment into the business including the recruitment of new staff, increased stock availability, infrastructure and logistics. Leisureways is widely known for its retail business and so we are looking to replicate this success in the trade with exceptional customer service to independent garages throughout Rotherham.”

READ: AUTOSUPPLIES ACQUIRES BUTLERS AUTOMOTIVE

Autosupplies Chesterfield is one of the single largest motor factor sites in the UK with over 100 staff and 70 vans. In October 2017, the firm purchased Butlers Automotive of Barnsley.

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AUTOSUPPLIES GROUP TO ACQUIRE LEISUREWAYS UK

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AUTOSUPPLIES GROUP TO ACQUIRE LEISUREWAYS UK


Chesterfield-based factor group Autosupplies has entered into an agreement to acquire Rotherham-based retailer Leisureways UK Ltd.

Leisureways Ltd is a long established family business, serving customers in Rotherham for more than 60 years.

Work has already begun to integrate Leisureways into the Autosupplies Group of Companies, with the deal expected to complete at the start of October.

Autosupplies Group MD, David Clarke, said: “The acquisition of Leisureways fits strategically into our ongoing expansion plans and work has already begun with staff, customers and suppliers to ensure a seamless integration into the group. Leisureways is a business with a proud history – mirroring that of Autosupplies and Butlers – and we look forward to continuing its tradition of exceptional customer service as part of the Autosupplies Group.

Retailer to change hands after 60 years

 

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OIL SUPPLIERS STRIKE DEALS

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OIL SUPPLIERS STRIKE DEALS


Lucas Oil MD Les Downey

CV factor Digraph has inked a deal with lubricant firm Millers Oil. The move follows the factor chain’s expansion plans .

“As we continue to support the CV market, we were keen to partner with a company that has an innovative roadmap for growth”, notes Andy Black, Platform Business Manager at Millers Oil. “Digraph has exciting development plans and is recognised for its service and support. We are looking forward to driving innovation together”.

Elsewhere, France-based lube supplier Motul has done a deal with Automotive Brands to distribute it’s passenger car oil range in the UK.

Gunter Steven, Head of BU Sales Export for Motul, said, “To also have the opportunity to work with Automotive Brands to expand our presence in the UK Aftermarket sector was an  exciting opportunity for us both. We are delighted to work together”

Motul was already a sponsor of Automotive Brands’ Power Maxed Racing and prior to the distribution deal had renewed sponsorship of PMR’s Astra touring cars for the new season.

On a similar note, A1 Motor Stores now distributes Lucas Oil products, after the latter received ‘Approved Supplier’ status from the group.

Commenting on this partnership, Lucas Oil MD Les Downey, said: “It’s an exciting time for us. It is a terrific opportunity for us and for A1 members, too”.
He added: “We will be working directly with them to increase product awareness and to boost sales”.

Meanwhile, garage aggregator WhoCanFixMyCar has arranged a partnership with Shell. The website and the oil major will share stand space at the upcoming Automechanika Birmingham. Al Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar. com, said, “We’re excited to be returning to Automechanika Birmingham. I’m sure it’ll be better than ever, especially as we’re partnering with Shell”.

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THE HEART OF NORFOLK

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THE HEART OF NORFOLK


Adrian Syder explains that the traditional market town accessory shop still has a role to play in the community.

Strange to say, but there are not that many accessory shops left that literally keep add-ons for passenger cars at the core of their business.

However, brothers Adrian and Mark Syder run a brace of shops that do just that in Stratton and Wymondham, Norfolk respectively. While other avenues have been explored in the past, they have not been as fast moving as the core product. “We have a few bikes outside, but they haven’t been a massive seller for us” he explained. “At the [A1 Motor Store] convention recently, we were talking about how you have to be really ‘in it’ to be a volume bike seller. One of the guys said he stocked about 200 different models – but then you get known as a bike shop”.

ACCESSORIES
Curiously, while the bikes themselves haven’t been great sellers, the volume of bike accessories sold has increased greatly since stocking complete bikes, even though inner tubes and the like are products that the shops have always stocked.

Similarly, many former accessory shops have focused on being trade factors, but this is an area of limited interest to Syder. “We don’t get involved in trade factoring as we tried it some years ago, and even then it was difficult with the amount of competition” he explained. “That said, there is an industrial estate up the road with a few businesses that will dabble in and out of our store, so we have a gold card for those trade members. We also do trade-sized barrels of antifreeze, engine oil and the like. This is because it is an agricultural area and the farming community will come to us for that type of product”.

TRADITIONAL
So bikes and trade sales are fringe, but where the business excels is traditional products. On the day of our visit to the Stratton branch, it was pouring with rain and it was clear that wipers represented a good percentage of sales. A bay just outside the stratton shop is easy for motorists to pull into, and Syder explains that the shop offers free fitting, which is clearly signed on the road outside. Unlike many stores, Syder doesn’t fight on price of wipers, reasoning that only stocking premium ‘blades will keep the customers happy and mean that the margin is sufficient to justify free fitting.

Stock is sourced through A1 Motors Stores, of which Syder is a long-term member, as well as FPS and direct accounts with Tetrosyl, Haynes and Draper Tools.

Owner Adrian Syder

FAST MOVERS
Other fast moving lines are the accessory shop staples of bulbs, waxes and polishes. Paints also sell well and the stores offer a comprehensive, and current stock of Haynes manuals. Draper tools, various service parts, demister pads and the obligatory display of ABS wheel trims also feature in the main displays of both shops as well as a small number of tuning and modifications, such as a functioning car audio display with a number of different head units and speakers to try out. “We have a guy that can fit the car audio if need be” explained Syder. “But it isn’t like it was fifteen or twenty years ago as the market for replacement head units has passed”.

STAFF LEVELS
The two stores have four permanent and two part time staff working between them, and all of them can work in either branch. “Everybody is capable of being at either branch, which I like as it gives us f lexibility” said Syder, adding that Wymondham was where the business was founded in 1988, but moved into an ex-butcher shop, which was a larger and more centrally located store, a year or two later. The Stratton branch followed soon after, and Syder briefly toyed with the idea of a third branch to sell alloy wheels, body kits and other ‘Max Power’-style accessories. “I’m glad I didn’t really, as the bottom fell out of that market!” recalled Syder. Fortunately, the car accessory side continues to grow and has been very good for us”.

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MOTOR WORLD STORES TO JOIN A1 NETWORK

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MOTOR WORLD STORES TO JOIN A1 NETWORK


motorworldEffective immediately, A1 has added 37 branches to its motor factor membership. The move represents a major milestone for the group, with the newest stores ideally placed around England and Wales to ensure even greater coverage to its customers.

In a statement, A1’s Head of Operations, Simon Salloway, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Motor World Ltd to A1 Motor Stores.

“Over the coming weeks, the A1 Support Team will work alongside the team at Motor World Ltd to integrate into the A1 set-up, and I’m sure all approved suppliers will join me in formally welcoming the organisation into the group.”

Motor World Sales and Operations Director Ian Lawrence said: “While it’s true we’ve got direct relationships with many suppliers and they are shipping to our stores already, joining A1 gives us an extra edge.”

“I think there are an awful lot of benefits for Motor World in joining A1, but the overriding reason for wanting to join was to increase the ranges we’ve got and the number of suppliers that are available to us. The deals are already set up with suppliers to A1. There’s an opportunity for us to become more involved in A1 too. Because of the scale I think joining forces with other retailers we will be able to introduce new ranges” he concluded.

 

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A1 MOTOR STORES AWARDS AND SUPPLIER ‘SPEED DATING’


a1_awards

Salloway (middle) presented awards

There might be far fewer conventions and ‘jollies’ abroad these days, but we’re pleased to say that the A1 Conference took 85 delegates and 35 supplier’s reps to the delightful Grand Majestic Hotel on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy. Particular mention should be given to the five suppliers, which sponsored the convention, namely Tetrosyl, Comline, Trico, Platinum and FPS.

On the day of arrival, the guests enjoyed a trip on the lake, plus a decent evening’s feed. However, in the morning after breakfast it was down to work for the Supplier meetings. Members paired up and had strictly timed five-minute sessions with each supplier. Of course, if the discussions needed to go on longer then there was plenty of opportunity later, but the point of the exercise was to introduce members to suppliers that they may not have previously had a dialogue with.

AWARDS
a1_award_winnersThe evening event was a black-tie dinner. A1’s Head of Operations, Simon Salloway called everyone to order and announced the winners of the 2016 A1 Motor Stores’ Supplier Awards. There were only four to be made, and the accolade was taken very seriously by the suppliers as all the awards were voted for by the entire membership. See the side panel for who won.

Actually there was one more announcement to make and it was an emotional one too. A1 members Phil and Pauline Taylor from Motormania were retiring straight after the conference. Motomania has been a member of A1 for all but two years of the group’s existence and Phil had a few words to say before signing off. He said, “In all the years of being involved in membership and heading up the executive as Chairman in the past, I have never seen the group in such a healthy and exciting position. A1

certainly does have a part to play in our industry and I wish I could turn back the clock and still be part of it. I think Simon Salloway is bringing the changes and new initiative to A1 that we need and I’m sure the group will grow from strength to strength. Pauline and I would like to thank A1 members and suppliers, old and new, for allowing us to have such an enjoyable career and we wish you all success moving forward.”

We wish the Taylor’s all the best and look forward to another great event next year.

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