Howdens and Screwfix

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by WillyEckerslike, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Well-Known Member

    I read a very interesting article this week about how the former boss at Screwfix is now shaking up Howdens. It was one of those 'you've read that so now see this type links' on Google but it was really well written by someone who actually had a grasp of both organisations' strengths and weaknesses.

    Assuming that the guy doesn't end up back at the helm of Kingfisher now that position is vacant - hinted at in the article - we should see changes at our local Howdens (thirty new look stores already).

    Howdens did well in the latest Which survey - interesting times ahead. If I can find the article again I'll post a link.

    Edit: Here's the article - http://www.insightdiy.co.uk/news/howdens-takes-a-step-into-the-screwfix-backyard/7096.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Howdens have 650 depots across the UK & have plans to get that number up to about 800 depots in the future.

    They are trade, I wonder whether they will also dabble in the retail,good seller kitchens,doors,etc, a large untapped market.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  3. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Howdens not too bad. Catch them on the right day and prices can be excellent.

    Following Magnets disastrous decision local to me to just supply kitchens and abandon all joinery side Howdens have picked up mountains of business.
     
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  4. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    They basically commited sucide with their approach abandoning all joinery side.
     
  5. Wayners

    Wayners Well-Known Member

    Howdens needs sorting out.. No way to order products. They don't know what's coming in so you can wait weeks for items and have to keep going in to pick up what they have. Some branches don't stock some items and can't get them in as not on the system. Worktops and doors bowed dose my nut so I buy elsewhere if I can. There is lots they can do to improve. I drove to 4 howdens to book out 10 door handles because they could not order in. Its crazy.. I don't have time for that.
     
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  6. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Don't use Howdens,had so much grief with my local branch.:)
     
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  7. glob@l

    glob@l Member

    Unlike Screwfix, neither the catalogue nor website show any prices or availability, so their system involves additional layers in a world where everything happens now!
     
  8. ajohn

    ajohn Active Member

    Well at least they have a kitchen visualiser coming. I'd assume they will tie that in with ordering at some point, pricing too. ;) That's what Ikea do, more suitable for DIY IMHO but instructions for final fitting could be better. The staff are a bit helpful in that area when an order is placed but could add a bit more.

    A friend of mine went to a business help seminar. The bloke that started Screwfix and later Toolstation did most of the talking. He reckoned that B&Q / Screwfix were hopeless, stock mostly, too many variations of the same thing and ever increasing items being added. It leads to higher prices. On power tools for instance he would offer budget and a major brand only, not several of each. Mail order for most people and arrived reliably next day. Toolstation was much the same when he owned it. Now Travis Perkins and going much the same way as Screwfix has gone rather rapidly. Probably lead to less items actually being stocked in branches but at least they deliver FOC next day or can collect.

    There was a privately owned builders merchants a mile from me. Always very busy. Travis Perkins now and like a grave yard. Wicks own brand stuff went rather awol when they bought that up. Used to be a decent source of semi pro tools so assume the previous buyers new their stuff. Many other items too.

    :D So will the bloke that ran Screwfix help Howdens? Hard to see how they could go ScrewStation but you never know.

    John
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  9. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Travis Perkin are totally useless as a builder's merchant.

    We had a few privately owned builders merchants around here, all gone been taken over by TP.:(
     
  10. ajohn

    ajohn Active Member

    They have taken another one around here up as well. It was known as Arkle Fencing. Maybe a mile away from the other. It was run and owned by a black country lad (rather old for a lad) and sold fencing, blocks, bricks, sand, gravel and cement. Any time I have been past it I haven't seen anyone go in any more. Fencing panels etc they now stock are the usual rubbish.Originally want tanalised, no problem and etc with fittings that might be needed. Also had a couple of blokes to install them. Nice thing about black country people is all usually as good as it can be but not the cheapest. ;) Our fence has been up for 25years at least now. Pity he switched to brads and an air gun to nail up the panels rather than sticking with copper so last year a few had to be renailed in place.

    John
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  11. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Absolute insanity.

    Decades of business relationships literally destroyed by one decision.
     
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  12. jimoz

    jimoz Active Member

    Did you all not get the text from Magnet? They are bringing joinery back. I went in last week and got 8 oak internals 45ea. Plus vodka and tonic. Special offer.
    I overheard the manager when I was in and even though kitchen sales were going well they were loosing the trade sales on the joinery and hence the trade kitchen sales.

    I've been in howdens new concept branch. We have one here. I think they've lost their way personally. Margins or mark up is too high. If I can find the equivalent kitchen for 1600 at DIY as opposed to 2500 at "trade only" howdens then what does that say
     
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  13. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Prefer DIY Kitchens every time.:)
     
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  14. jimoz

    jimoz Active Member

    First time I've used them. Wish I upgraded to the better delivery. I've got to have 2 people there, will only find out what day the day before and could be from 0800 to 2200. That's a bit strong for a trade customer. As I say shouldn't have been so tight in delivery option
     
  15. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    They have a very good range of units,never had any problems with them,good customer service,if your ever near South Kirkby,Pontefract, you want to visit their showroom,impressive.
     
  16. barbaricduck

    barbaricduck Member

    I have generally always found Howdens spot on. Can normally get something in within a few days at most, usually less. If something is wrong with a kitchen delivery they often will deliver the replacement the same day. Their worktops are always pretty decent.
    I like that the online account is better now in that you can see all the invoices and pay easily online.
    A few more product lines will be a good move.

    Re DIY; I know someone who paid for the platinum delivery and it didn't show up til 7pm. I had to wait for it too. Not happy! Although I don't know what the terms are for the platinum delivery, but still it's around £200 IIRC.
     
  17. barbaricduck

    barbaricduck Member

    Yeah, kinda agree there. And benchmarx which is part of the same group are naff in my view. Tried to say a plinth was over £60! A plinth!! Chipboard and melamine!!
     
  18. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Wait til you find out its actually a two day window from 0800-2200.

    Their comms while "on the road" are pretty good. They always give me an hours notice. Its a bit awkward bit worth it for the quality and value.

    I have used them about a quadrillion times! Never even look anywhere else for proper kitchen fits.

    Mega low budget, student lets, farm jobs etc. Wickes carryout. Anything else DIY
     
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  19. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    I cant be bothered to go back to Magnet.

    Into a groove with Howdens now.

    I wouldnt touch their kitchens though.

    Nowhere near DIY quality.
     
    KIAB likes this.
  20. ajohn

    ajohn Active Member

    Do Howdens and Magnet provide built up carcasses ? Who is DIY? B&Q I assume and built up??

    John
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