SCA Wood UK – Diversity Award

SCA Wood UK are currently looking at and investing in the Mental Health and wellbeing of their employees. During their annual health & safety week, celebrating the awareness of safe working practices and employee wellbeing, SCA initiated discussions on mental health and invited colleagues to inform their managers on what would need to be included in an Employee Wellbeing policy that will be implemented in 2019.

During the week, SCA asked some local counsellors to visit site and invited employees to get some one-to-one advice on mental health issues and to spread the word that it is OK not to be OK. For SCA, employee wellbeing also includes physical health. Initiatives such as lunch time walks, and desk exercises were encouraged. Local gyms were invited in to give free health checks to employees and run some exercise classes to get the blood pumping.

Howarth at Home – Corby

Howarth Timber & Building Supplies are delighted to nominate the Howarth At Home Corby showroom for the BMJ Kitchen & Bathroom Showroom of The Year award.

The Showroom has undergone a dramatic remodelling in 2017 accompanied by a spectacular launch event, now serving as one of the flagship showrooms for Howarth At Home and the Laura Ashley Kitchen Collection.

As one of the largest kitchen showrooms in the group, Howarth At Home Corby underwent a number of significant developments as part of their refurbishment that mark it out as a premier display for the new collection. The showroom is now split into two distinct wings, with the exquisite Laura Ashley Kitchen Collection housed in a dedicated space, bringing unrivalled space and diversity. Already proving to be a big hit with customers, Howarth At Home Corby has seen a dramatic increase in both visitors to the showroom and orders, requiring an additional designer to be brought into the showroom to keep up with demands.

The kitchen sets are displayed with products and furnishings sourced from Laura Ashley stores to complete the look to an exceptional standard and ensure that the displays are stylistically cohesive and help the customers to envision the kitchen in their own home. The showroom relaunch event generated a great deal of interest in the local area and resulted in large footfall to the new showroom. Chef Kev Hillyer was present on the day with a live cooking demonstration and additional suppliers were present on the day with their own products and competitions. A social media campaign the week before the relaunch achieved a reach of 52,500 within a 10 mile radius of the branch to a segmented target audience. A campaign in local Living magazines accompanied the event to both promote the launch event and raise awareness of the revised showroom.

For the first time in its history, Howarth At Home Corby now features Bedroom displays, with the Laura Ashley Bedroom display taking a prime position in the new wing, alongside a uniquely designed boot room, designed to show the flexibility of design. The changes have generated huge local interest in the area, with orders coming from as far as a 30 mile radius around the branch. Howarth At Home Corby benefits from the expertise of Kitchen Showroom Manager Sue Crewe, who’s passion and drive has helped to build the customer base of the showroom in the area, as well as significantly increase enquiries and orders. The surge in interest in the local area has more than doubled the amount of quote requests received by the branch, leading to the need to add an additional designer in branch.

The relaunched showroom is complemented by the brand-new Howarth At Home website, allowing customers to view the full range, book an appointment with an experienced kitchen planner and even design their ideal kitchen with advanced kitchen planner software. The brand-new website marks another step forward for Howarth At Home, further establishing themselves as a go-to specialist in the region.

Supporting video:

Open Day Video:

Chandler Material Supplies – Movember


• To engage our staff, customers and their families in fun-based charity activities linked with our branding
• To get community based PR to distract from a new National Merchant opening locally
• To raise our brand awareness in the local area
• To raise money for and awareness of the charity

To act as the central focus of our Movember campaign, we decorated our lorries with Moustaches. Each driver was challenged to decorate the front of their lorries with a moustache made from building materials found in our yard. For each delivery we made in November, we made a 50p donation to the charity, and for each order our customers were offered the chance to match this with 50p of their own by our sales staff. To gain engagement from the local community, we then asked for customers and members of the public to snap pictures of our lorries on the road and post these to our social media pages and in return we would donate £1 per picture to the Movember Foundation. The lorries were a great conversation piece for people who spotted them whilst out on the yard, gaining us traction with the campaign, and true value adding brand awareness.

We also interacted with our local community through a kids colouring competition, encouraging our customers and the general public to get their children involved and take part in colouring in a cartoon version of our lorry with moustache. We held a presentation morning to give the winners their prizes, whilst also giving the kids an opportunity to meet our transport team and sit in our lorries and diggers. By engaging parents and children, we embedded the family values that our Company and industry represents.

The campaign was featured in the local press by both of our local newspapers, The Essex Chronicle and The Chelmsford Weekly News. Both of these articles were published in the first week of November, aiding awareness of our Campaign and the charity. By achieving these 2 pieces of press, photos of our Company and branding were seen by over 96,000 people, in a trusted PR format.

To further raise our brand awareness, we used our social media platforms to showcase the activities we undertook and used Facebook Boost to reach a new and wider audience.

As well as donating £1 for every social media post, 20% of our staff agreed to grow a moustache during the month of November. Each staff member was challenged to get sponsorship from family members towards the Team Chandler total. To ensure our female staff were not left out, the ladies of Team Chandler walked 60km over the month to highlight the 60 men lost to suicide each hour. The ladies walked wearing stick on moustaches or moustache glasses and Chandler Hi Vis vests to raise further awareness.

Suppliers were also asked to get involved. We asked visiting sales reps to donate £10 for any time they turned up during November without making an appointment. Our Customers were asked to get involved, by being asked if they would like to add a 50p donation to their sales at the Counter.
To summarise, the campaign was well supported by our customers, staff and the local public. We raised a total of £1,137 for the charity, as well as raising awareness of the Movember Foundation and what they are aiming to achieve. Chandler Materials benefited from the coverage this campaign brought with it as well as the local community interaction with the campaign.

Bradfords Building Supplies – Spring deals you won’t believe

It was January 2018 and the first order of Bradfords business was already upon us.

Spring is by far and away one of the toughest periods of the year in terms of driving profitable sales. Competitor activity is a bloodbath, demand is high post winter, and getting the year off to a good start is critical for every merchant going. We needed to win the minds and wallets of tradesmen, all in the face of some big business challenges:

– Previous promotions had relied too heavily on giveaways and competitions to drive sales, which negatively affected our ROI
– Promotions had focussed on having a big idea to bring cut through which had resulted in the product message being relegated
– We were ‘reinventing the wheel’ each time i.e. coming up with new ideas that were costly and built no equity into a longer term platform

Despite these challenges, our commercial aspirations were big:

– Deliver a 5-10% YoY increase in sales
– Show that a fully integrated campaign could deliver positive ROI

And our budget? £140k for creative, media and production.

Working with our communications agency, Good Eggs, we started by undertaking some in-depth interviews with the trade to get under the skin of how they really felt about sales promotions. This uncovered a brutally simple insight that became the inspiration for our activity;

The majority of the ‘deals’ offered to the trade were either; not that competitively priced, not on the products they needed, or not when they needed them.

This powerful insight got us thinking, what if all three of these were to come together at once? How would the trade react? Based on everything we’d heard, we knew it would be met with nothing short of disbelief, and from this, an idea was born:


Next, we asked ourselves how could we inject the notion of disbelief into a creative idea that cut through, was ownable for the brand and put an unbelievable product message front and centre? We didn’t need another research study to tell us how tradesmen react when they don’t believe something?


And as the leading builders merchant in the South West, we simply considered what Bradfords would say when it comes to offering tradesmen unbelievable deals on what they want, when they want it?


Such was the belief in this idea, the business really got behind it. The commercial team were able to bring unbelievable deals to the table and we all got to work on building a truly integrated campaign across every part of our offering.

We started by activating the entire Bradfords estate – everything from banners and truck liveries to gondola ends and staff t-shirts. Branch and trade partner engagement (delivered via a Supplier Roadshow, a Branch Standards competition and a Branch Managers Sales competition) was seen on unprecedented levels, right from the word B*******s.

We utilised tried and tested media channels to engage the trade and drive them to branch; press, radio, outdoor, digital, and social media to name but a few. The idea played seamlessly across these channels, ensuring ‘Spring deals you won’t believe’ was seen right across the South West.

Our campaign had been live for all of 4 weeks when we were hit by the ‘Beast From The East’. Bad weather has forever been a scourge on builders merchants but this Beast was like nothing we’d seen before. But far from shying away from the Beast, we grabbed it by the horns. We used social media to put out a rallying cry to tradesmen to keep coming and take advantage of these unbelievable deals.

And the results? Well, quite frankly, they have been unbelievable:

– A 25% uplift in sales YoY on business priority products in the 10 week campaign period (vs a target of 5-10%)*
– A 10% uplift in sales YoY across the entire landscaping portfolio in the same 10 week period**
– All at a time where the category i.e. landscaping products across all UK merchants, was down -3% over the same 10 week period**
– This delivered a 12% increase in Bradfords’ market share of the landscaping category in just 10 weeks**
– All up, our campaign drove a 4:1 marketing return on investment for the business.

We saw unprecedented levels of engagement with trade partners:

“The promotion drove an 8% YoY uplift on our products, despite the trials of the ‘Beast from the East’™. A terrific success!”
(Area Sales Manager, Tarmac Cement)

Our branch engagement activity clearly paid dividends too:

“After spending almost 30 years in the industry I finally saw a promotion that truly ticked every single box”
(Branch Manager, Weston Super-Mare)

Finally, not only has this campaign delivered huge commercial success for our business in the short-term, we now have a long term sales platform on which to build. ‘Deals you won’t believe’™ will return. The best integrated sales campaign ever seen by a Builders Merchant?

That must be B*******s.

*Source: Bradfords Internal Sales Data – Mar-May 18
**Source: Independent UK market data – Mar-May 18