Friday 19 October 2012
D & M Tools of Twickenham, one of the largest independent tool retailers in the UK, is trading its way up and out of recession. While others may have ceased trading or are hanging on grimly waiting for a change in world and UK economies, and an uplift in construction especially, D & M Tools has invested Â£1m in developing new and vastly extended premises at 73-81 Heath Road.
By almost doubling the 6,000 sq ft showroom to an impressive 11,000 sq ft to include new showrooms, warehouse and administration offices, the new facility - equivalent to five shops on Heath Road - has been deliberately designed to look like an attractive two-storey house, with a white front door, a stipulation of the Local Planning Authority of the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames.
Paul Dowding, managing director of the 34 year old company, has been involved in the family business for 30 years. He strongly advocates that when recession hits hard it's the best time to expand a business in preparation for better times. "We decided to take this project on while business was expected to be slow with the intention of having it completed by the time the economy turns. To the contrary, our business has not suffered at all and we're 35% up year on year," reports Paul. "We stock only the best brands and Makita is without doubt the brand of quality and a favourite with our customers." Paul reports that during the expansion programme manufacturers and suppliers have been very supportive and with the additional space yet more brands are queuing to be stocked. "We can't take them all,"comments Paul, "but it's good to offer our customers a choice."
Many construction professionals, enthusiasts and experienced DIYers will also know D&M Tools for the biggest and best annual exhibition of branded hand tools, power tools and machinery at 'THE' TOOL SHOW. Some 10,000 visitors are expected each year at the three-day event, which this year ran 12-14 October , at the prestigious Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey. â€œWe would expect attendance to decline during difficult times but again, we see more visitors when money is tight and when choosing the right tool for the job is more important than ever. 'THE' TOOL SHOW is very well supported by the leading construction industry brands who stage live demonstrations, masterclasses and hands-on testing opportunities, allowing visitors to compare brands and models in one place before they purchase.
Paul and his wife Jenny, D&M's financial director, know that new products are essential to retain customer interest and encourage trading-up. The popularity of two, four and six piece tool kits, a new marketing direction in which Makita has excelled in recent years, ensures that customers get the best value for money from their purchase and stay ahead of the latest introductions.
"Who would have thought 15 years ago that a construction worker would be paying anything up to £600 for a multi-tool kit today, but kits are increasingly popular and definitely the way to go. Makita's very latest cordless kit introductions will go quickly and we have placed large orders which will look great in the new showrooms," enthuses Paul who knows his market well.
D&M tools now have 14 full time employees, fully trained and experienced salesmen and women who share Paul's passion for tools. "And my faith in the youth of today is totally restored," says Paul. D&M took on an apprentice, at a time when few others could make the commitment, on the 'Try before you Buy' apprenticeship scheme that allows employers to ensure the apprentice is right for the position before offering employment. 20-year old Daniel, who had been unemployed for two years, has been introduced to D&M Tools at the deep end, learning the systems, the tools, the usp's of each brand, and providing helpful and knowledgeable support to the sales team and customers. "He's a great asset and we are lucky to have found him," says Jenny Dowding.
Mike Allan, Makita's southern region sales manager comments: "Paul manages his team very well indeed and definitely leads by example. He drives his staff and drives the company and is a good boss which is why his staff stay." D&M Tools is one of Makita's largest independent retail accounts.
Contact: D&M Tools
Tel: 020 8892 3813
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