Online merchant challenges traditional sites

Published:  09 February, 2010

GRANGEMOUTH: A new nationwide building supplies website has opened to challenge traditional brick and mortar merchants.

Ken's Yard, aimed at self-builders and small building contractors in the UK, claims to offer the largest range of building supplies on-line and a building estimate service.

Ken McLelland, board director of the company said, "Ken's Yard enables building professionals to reduce procurement costs by taking full advantage of the reach and power of the internet without compromising quality or choice of products."

The company plans to increase product lines from some 30 000 mainly branded products to 45 000 online.

Ken's Yard works with manufacturers and suppliers using e-commerce technology to provide a "genuine alternative to more traditional and less efficient methods of purchasing construction products", the company said.

The building estimates service for extensions, refurbishments and new-build projects allows customers to upload a drawing, or enter measurements to obtain a quote.

Initially, the service is free as a launch special offer to customers who spend £500 or more. Ken's Yard handles ordering with delivery for items like roof trusses direct to site within 14 days, it said.

Mr McLelland added "When we looked closely at the e-commerce operators in the repairs, maintenance and improvements market, the gap we saw was to combine the credibility associated with a specialist site with the wider appeal of the generalist site.

"We have positioned Ken's Yard to appeal to the professional who now sees the benefits of e-commerce while being accessible to the competent project builder who is quite comfortable researching and sourcing on-line.

"We understand what the building professional needs and are already receiving very positive feedback about Ken's Yard's straightforward and refreshing approach to doing business," he explained.

Charles McLeish and Joe McConville, former owners of MGM Timber, and Ken McLelland a former regional director of Buildbase, are on the board of Ken's Yard. Also on the board are Charles Shaw chairman of 5pm.co.uk and former chief executive of Invergordon Distillers, and Andrew Sutherland former UK financial controller and company secretary at Keyline Builders Merchants. The site is at www.kensyard.co.uk

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