Eurocell Branching Out
19 October 2014
Over the last two decades, Eurocell Building Plastics has grown into a 130-plus branch network success story offering tradesmen a one-stop-shop for quality building plastics products. Here, Builders’ Merchants News takes a look behind the scene to find out more about the company.
“We opened our first branch in Gloucester back in 1991,” said Chris Coxon, Head of Marketing at Eurocell. “This was the first time that an extrusion company had moved into the distribution of building plastics products, which at the time was as an innovative development, but in retrospect made perfect sense as it leverages our manufacturing capabilities – and meant customers were buying direct.
The success of Gloucester, which focussed on roofline, sealants and window trims, was followed in quick succession with other new branches and by the mid-nineties the company had created a strong regional network across the South-West. Further investment and the introduction of new product lines such as tools and rainwater led to expansion into other areas of the country. At around the same time, there was major investment in a new factory and warehousing capacity at its Derbyshire headquarters with around 500,000 sq ft added between 1997 – 2004.
“Investing extra capacity gave both our building plastics and profiles businesses the ability to grow rapidly,” added Chris. “That was important because we knew that even though we were growing we had to continue to develop the service side of our offer."
By 2009 Eurocell had opened its 100th branch in Shrewsbury, a phenomenal achievement considering that at the same time it had established itself as the UK’s No.1 window systems company with an unbroken record of growth over 10 years despite the recession.
One-stop-shop for building plastics
Critical to the success of the branch network has been ongoing introduction of innovative new products. Take for example Skypod, a range that offers homeowners a high desirable solution for what would otherwise be an uninspiring flat roof extension on their home.
The recent addition of a two-bar pitched gable end design on Skypod™ eliminates the need for a central spider glazing bar, further improving aesthetics and increasing natural light*. An ability to be fitted in hours and offered as kits in all branches has helped the range achieve some impressive sales results since it was launched 12 months ago.
As one installer put it: “This is the first Skypod™ we’ve fitted and we can’t praise it enough. It’s brilliant. It not only made us look good in front of the customer, but everything arrived in the kit as it should, and we had it fitted within four hours – outstanding product and service from Eurocell.”
The core product range for branches remains roofline, window trims, sealants and adhesives and rainwater systems – in combination with hand and power tools, Cavalok cavity closers, underground drainage and all the other essential building plastics products an installer could ever want! In all there are over 4,000 products available over the trade counter or delivered next day free of charge (all orders over £100 ex vat).
Having a profiles business meant that it was an obvious progression to add conservatory roofs, PVC-U and composite entrance doors – all following the same principle that it’s ‘better for customers if they buy direct’. Completing the one-stop-shop are windows in branches, supplied by Eurocell fabricators nationwide.
“Offering windows in our branches was a logical next step because it strengthened our one-stop-shop for installers and opened up opportunities for our fabricators that they may not necessarily have had,” said Chris.”Aside from product development, Eurocell has focussed on making the branches a place that installers can use as a resource centre for growing their business. For example, ‘YourPad - the virtual improvement app™ is all about giving end customers more choice as well as giving installers the ability to present realistic visuals of how the product will look on their ‘pad’.
The full line up of branch products featured on YourPad includes: casement windows, vertical sliders, composite doors, sidelights, bi-fold doors, French doors, conservatories, Equinox tiled roof conservatories, roofline and Skypod® – everything that a homeowners could ever wish for - all with multiple colour options!
Other technological developments include a mobile website that allows customers to order anytime, anywhere via iPhone, Blackberry or Galaxy. “Our branches have changed so much over the last few years and the latest development – our mobile site - makes it much easier and more convenient for customers, pure and simple’, said Chris.
Looking to the future
The foundations for the growth of the company’s branch network – investment, innovation and service – were set in 1991, yet they remain as strong today as they always have been. Eurocell Building Plastics is now the leading company in the category, with a unique business model.
Having its own manufacturing operation has definitely helped, so too has its ability to help installers secure business with new products in new market sectors, with new technology. Bringing all these together under the same brand reinforces the company’s positioning and reflects future growth plans and broadened set of product capabilities.
YourPad is available to download FREE from the Apple App Store and Google Play now. Search for: ‘Eurocell YourPad'.
To find out more about Eurocell branches, call the Eurocell customer care team on: 0300 333 6525, or use our quick contact form here.