About Home Hardware

Home Hardware Scotland Ltd is a buying and marketing group owned by its members who all run their own stores. There are currently over 50 independent members’ shops throughout Scotland and the north of England. These stores include hardware and houseware retailers and garden centres. Our professional buyers all come from a retail background and they source products from around the world, ensuring that our stores offer on trend products at excellent prices.

If you are a retailer with your own store and are interested in joining us, we offer 1 year’s FREE Trial Membership so that you can find out how good our service is with no obligation to join. For more detailed information please click on the sections below.

Home Hardware is dealer-owned hardware, gardening & housewares wholesaler serving Scotland & the North of England. But, we are very different from the competition because . . . Home Hardware Exists For its Members!

Home Hardware (Scotland) Ltd was founded in 1983 by a forward thinking group of retailers who were looking for a more effective solution to source the best prices on traditional stock ranges. Their objectives were to eliminate the middleman’s profits, by bulk buying their stock for less, while eliminating stock holding problems caused by meeting minimum carriage paid orders. They also wanted to build a strong membership base that would allow them to acquire the resources, facilities and expertise to meet any form of competition head on.

Our sole aim is to improve our members profitability, which we achieve through a strong negotiating position, established buying power and focused marketing. Our philosophy is, and always has been, that the profit centres are the shops. You will read this further on and it can’t be said too often, it’s our raison d’etre.

Home Hardware (Scotland) Ltd is essentially non profit making and is managed by a board of directors who have many years of retail experience between them. The board sets the policies of the company, develops the operations, finance and performance. It gives direction and engages management.

The hardware, DIY and gardening industries in the UK have grown to the point where a few giant multiples control a large part of the industry. They will continue to take more of the market share unless independents band together and work collectively towards a common cause and purpose.

Home Hardware’s mission is to supply members with a very wide range of quality products and services, to provide them with systems to operate efficient and profitable stores, and assist them in serving the customer with competitive prices and superior service. All members share and participate as equals – whether they have one small shop or 10 shops!

Our philosophy is considerably different to some conventional distributors whose basic objective is to maximise their profits. We work on the basis that by driving customer demand through effective marketing, while giving our members the opportunity to buy at the best price possible, the sky’s the limit for the independent.

Home Hardware’s Distribution Centre is based in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland and supplies stores throughout Scotland and the north of England. The Distribution Centre is 66,000sq. ft. (10m high bays) and can hold up to 3,000 pallets. Our dedicated staff operate a state of the art wireless Warehouse Management System, enabling a best practice response time to our customers orders and optimising our service.

We hold regular members meetings allowing us to inform members of all key developments. The meetings also give Home Hardware valuable feedback – we can gain from the views and ideas of our members, and in turn, they can share ideas, challenges, solutions and current developments. Members also have access to our Microsoft SharePoint site which has an abundance of useful information. They can also communicate with Home Hardware staff and other members through the popular SharePoint Blog area – it is often used by members looking for an item from another shop, which has been discontinued or was a clearance line.

We have a very good relationship with our suppliers and hold various training days at our Distribution Centre. Some of our training days have included Epos training, Dulux colour mixing workshops and Cuprinol seminars. We have also held social media training days to give shop owners the knowledge on how to create, post and manage their shops online presence on social media platforms.

Our professional buying team can respond immediately to any changes in the market place and always offer members the best price to allow them to compete. They also visit trade shows in the UK, Europe and the Far East to source products at competitive prices. Our stock is based on traditional departments that you would expect to find in your local hardware/housewares store:

• Hand Tools
• Power Tools
• Ironmongery
• Fasteners
• DIY Supplies
• Heating, Lighting & Electrical
• Small Electrical Appliances
• Housewares
• Garden
• Outdoor Leisure

Our buyers have all come from a retail background and are amongst the most experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated in the industry. Our buying team manages and monitors supply chain performance and actively encourages suppliers to improve the quality of service.

Our direct shipment business provides a flexible addition to our core stock business. Members have the opportunity to purchase an even wider range of merchandise at very competitive prices with the added convenience of the invoicing being dealt with through ourselves. We have over 150 companies on our direct shipment list.

As well as the big brand names we also stock our own branded items including a complete range of fasteners, electrical accessories, gardening products, to name just some, that increase public confidence in the strength and awareness of the Home Hardware brand. We intend to continue developing our own brand range.

Home Hardware has a range of computer solutions that addresses the needs of it’s members. We offer members various systems:

1. Manual Order System: paper based & easy to use
2. Web Based Ordering: using the Home Hardware intranet
3. Epos Interaction: we have the technology to interact with a number of proprietary EPOS systems

An electronic stock file is available to all members, with item descriptions and pricing information which helps with updating files on members computers. Product images are also available via our SharePoint site.

We know how important cash flow is to our members that’s why we ensure members receive credits for returned goods, normally within seven days.

Each member receives reliable weekly deliveries from our own vehicle fleet, ensuring a dependable service. A reliable flow of goods allows members to reduce their stock holding accordingly.

Collapsible delivery cages are unloaded and wheeled straight into members stores. Green plastic containers are used for smaller items and are collected with the next delivery. This speeds up loading and unloading, improves efficiency and prevents damage to the goods. It is also an environmentally friendly method, preferable to using cardboard boxes. All cages are wrapped with film to ensure goods arrive in the best possible condition.

A Waste Recycling Service is also provided to our members and usually costs less than the local council waste recycling.

Our marketing personnel work closely with our buying team and members to ensure that the promotions we offer focus on the needs of our members and their customers.

Our main marketing tool is our promotional brochures which are distributed five times a year by Royal Mail, with over 2 million brochures being printed last year! Our members estimate that their turnover increases OVER 20% during the first 4 weeks of the brochure promotion!

As part of our service, we also book the brochure postal sectors with the Royal Mail door to door distribution team which saves our members valuable time.

Our 16  and  20  page brochures carry everyday stock lines and are a very effective and economical way to contact customers. Our records show an average 50% profit on cost, even though they include many special offers at highly competitive prices. Our marketing department can supply you with profit figures for previous promotions, including the average return on every brochure distributed.

Members also have the option to take full colour A2 posters and point of sale tickets, which are produced in-house.

Members can invest in our website which has over 6,000 product lines and is a sub division of Home Hardware Scotland Ltd. Having a trading website lets consumers see that the independent retailer is also part of a larger organisation, thus instilling trust when buying online.

We also offer a Collect in Store service to our members via the home hardware direct website.

Other services and products available from our marketing department:

• Uniforms
• Gift Vouchers
• Home Hardware Bag For Life
• Customer Loyalty Card
• Social Media Content
• Trade & Local Advertising
• Home Hardware Living Blog

The corporate concept began due to increased competition from the multiples. After carrying out extensive market research we found that many people associated traditional hardware stores with high prices, old fashioned stock, and clutter. All of these were negative points that put them off shopping with their local independent. What could be done about this? We completed the original Home Hardware design in 1996 and this was updated in 2012 to our current signage which is now applied to any aspect of shop design and POS material. We are working towards making Home Hardware a brand that is recognised and trusted nationwide, and the benefits of being corporate continues to grow.

We offer a complete in-store design service. A complete shop refit is totally self financing and will normally pay for itself within three years and refitting an existing shop as a Home Hardware concept store can increase your turnover by up to 40%! After a shop refit, customers have commented on how professional the new look is and how easy it is to find what they are looking for.

Not all of the Home Hardware members are fully corporate. Many shops have the Home Hardware fascia and others only have Home Hardware window graphics, uniforms, bags, POS tickets etc. However, if a member distributes the promotional brochures it is more beneficial if they have window graphics or fascia, to guide potential customers to their shop.

Below is a virtual tour of one of our refurbished corporate stores.

Home Hardware (Scotland) Ltd is virtually non-profit making. The income made on the goods sold out is pegged at a level that will cover all the distribution centre running costs, with a very small surplus that can be reinvested in replacement equipment etc. The directors of Home Hardware do not and never will take a dividend.

Home Hardware is a true collective and is not run to make profits for the shareholders. This statement is absolutely true, the directors are all retailers. This means that all the profit is passed on to the retailer, therefore, making all retailers equal and similarly competitive regardless of the size of their store. This also means that you simply cannot get a better buying price elsewhere.

So how can we afford to purchase stock? The money which funds the stock is raised through a percentage of the sale of goods, called the Advance Stock Deposit (ASD). This is set at 5% initially, then drops to 1% of the value of all purchases, once enough funds have accrued to allow us to purchase all the stock that you require on an annual basis. This ASD is added to your purchase invoice when you buy stock from us.

Members get a better buying price than they could get anywhere else, and they are building up a fund of money to enable us to purchase their stock for them. When this fund eventually reaches 35% of the amount of stock that we purchase annually on their behalf, ASD drops to 1%. It is entirely self financing, as the overall gain for members buying across the stock range is 10%.

Upon retiral, or withdrawal from Home Hardware the ASD is paid back in 13 monthly installments to the member. Our members jokingly call it the Pension Fund because it amounts to a healthy lump sum and is tax free.

We offer 1 year’s FREE Trial Membership so that you can find out exactly how good our service is with no obligation to join. If, like most retailers, you decide to join at the end of your first year, our membership fee is a one-off payment of £2,000. This cost covers the managerial time involved in setting up our service with your store for the first time.

During your first year with us you pay for your brochures at the start of each promotion. After your first year with us, if you choose to use the corporate marketing, 2% will be added to your purchase invoice. For this small amount you will receive 1,000 brochures, delivered four times a year for every £20,000 you spend with us. To put it in simpler terms, a member purchasing £100,000 annually would receive 20,000 brochures. You will also have the expertise of our marketing personnel at your fingertips – they can organise in-store events, signage, press releases, advertising, posters, content for your social media platforms including videos and images and much more!

You can choose to use our weekly, reliable, delivery service or if you wish to collect your order you will receive a discount.

Members Reasons To Join…

Brian Mills – Timbermills, Cumnock
“There are many reasons why i joined Home Hardware: Excellent stock availability; Good value promotions; Great prices and last but certainly not least – their credit and returns policies work extremely well.”

David Turnbull – Turnbull’s North Berwick & Dunbar
“There is so much time saved by tasks being done at the Distribution Centre that only need to be done once, like price changes etc, but which are instantly activated for everybody’s benefit. My shop is much more professional and better organised, and I have time to tackle long-term projects that will really establish the business for the future.”

Sandy Gibb-Stuart – Gibb Stuart’s Bridge of Weir
“The expertise of the buying team saves me management time: one weeks work is reduced to one day, giving me time to specialise in other aspects of running my business.”

John Park – Scott’s Stores, Barrhead
“My main reasons for joining Home Hardware are good marketing, better buying, distinctive signage. Working profit, advance stock deposit philosophy is good. I like the fact that it’s run by shopkeepers for the shopkeepers. Epos integration with RBA is great and makes ordering easy. Was fed up with poor service etc from traditional wholesalers.”