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Plumbworld founder launches power tool website

Published: 15 March 2008
Plumbworld expects to make a 'serious assault' on the online market with
Plumbworld founder launches power tool website
The UK's largest specialist online retailer of bathroom products has entered the tools market with a new e-commerce site selling power tools, hand tools, and accessories.

The new site – Toolbox – is selling DeWalt, Bosch and Makita power tool brands initially, but the range is expected to grow to include others fairly rapidly.

"We have a market share in UK online bathroom retail of over 30%. A lot of which is down to our expertise in online marketing, highly automated internal systems and efficient logistics," the company said in a statement.

The Grafton-owned business said it decided to expand into additional product areas to online bathroom lines as it is not directly related to the bathroom industry.

"Since the plumbworld business was acquired by the Grafton Group in 2006, we now have access to a wide range of building-related products at market-beating prices.

"With the buying power of a multi billion Euro turnover business and the backing of the major brands behind us, we intend to make a serious assualt on the UK online power tool market," said James Hickman, managing director.

The UK market for power tools is estimated to be worth around £285 million pounds a year with an increasing proportion of sales being made online.

Plumbworld started trading online in 1999. The company now has an annual turnover in excess of £20 million and is growing at 30% a year.

The company is based in Evesham in Worcestershire and employs 72 people.


The move follows another launch. In late Feburary a new tool and fixings company - toolbargain - launched on the net promising 'quality tools at discount prices'.

Ceo David Smith said he decided to launch as the 'industry just seems to want to publish a list of products and hope things happen'.

"There is a need to give consumers more these days and that includes tips and advice on how to use tools both power and hand tools. The correct fixings can make such a difference to a job but where do you get the information?'

The site comprises hints, tips and advice, a weekly special offer, and for the future a weekly and monthly competition is planned.

"This is a two-way site that lets customers interact with each other and the sites' owners to create a wealth of information unseen before on a selling web site," Mr Smith added.


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