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Travis Perkins to become a major player online

Published: 11 April 2008
There's room for us, says company ceo Geoff Cooper.
Travis Perkins to become a major player online
Travis Perkins is embarking on a growth plan to become a major player in direct sales retailing of construction materials, diy goods, and materials for large home projects, the company's ceo Geoff Cooper told diyweek.net following its purchase of a 30% stake in Toolstation.

Travis Perkins plans to use the Toolstation 'opportunity' for a three-pronged attack on the building materials sector comprising online stores, catalogues, and trade counters.

Mr Cooper said the move stemmed from observable trends across all parts of the market sector, which pointed to fragmented shopping behaviour from diy-ers and tradesmen: "They are purchasing building materials through various sources in a variety of ways - some buy online, some look at a catalogue, some via the traditional route of shopping trips, others via delivery and, of course, those investigating potential purchases online," he said.

"We think it is our job to provide all channels where there is an opportunity," Mr Cooper said.

He added that as Toolstation's provision of up to 9,000 items, ranging from major brands to unbranded goods, is working well in the direct sales channel, he expects 'significant profits' from it with Travis Perkins' future involvement.

"Yes, there are a large number of players - one leader, and smaller ones dotted around" - he said, "however, there's room for another."

He went on to outline three reasons why Travis Perkins can make inroads in the direct sales channel.

1. "We've the best management team in the country, and the sector - the guys who created Screwfix are with us, which is a key point to be recognised."

2. "It's a low-cost option with the potential for great value."

3. "It's backed by the considerable resources of Travis Perkins, which via a combination of management and finance will make the challenge easier."

He continued: "Over the last eight years Travis Perkins has added six businesses in adjacent markets, but those which are in some way specialised.

"The direct sales channel is one which is very interesting to us."

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