Steve Ashmore, managing director of Wolseley UK.

Wolseley UK creates new businesses

Published:  03 July, 2013

Wolseley UK is creating two business areas – one specialising in above-ground drainage and the other in below-ground drainage – for the civils and utilities markets.

The changes are aimed to provide better alignment to different customer groups, and result from a strategic review of the Drain Center and Burdens brands following the OFT clearance of the purchase of Burdens branches by Wolseley UK on January 30, 2013.

The new Burdens brand will focus on civils and utilities. As a result, 21 Drain Center branches (including five MCA branches), whose business primarily reflects these markets, will be rebranded as Burdens, joining forces with the existing 16-branch Burdens estate. This more than doubles Burdens’ national presence to 37 branches. The rebranding will be phased over the coming months.

The Drain Center brand will focus on the core specialism of above-ground drainage for the RMI, residential and commercial marketplace, and 55 Drain Center branches, whose operations primarily reflects this area, will make up this business. To maximise its growth potential through access to a larger branch estate, it will be managed as part of Wolseley UK’s wider Plumb/Parts/William Wilson & BCG business group.

Regrettably, the business restructure has resulted in the proposed closure of nine Drain Center branches with the potential loss of 24 roles, as they do not have the level of profitability or return on capital that Wolseley UK requires to achieve its goals. Wolseley UK is currently consulting with employees at the impacted branches.

However, as part of the changes, Wolseley UK will also be creating 11 new Drain and Burdens implants at existing Burdens and Drain Center branches over the coming months, to ensure continuity of service for customers who have an above-ground and civils and utilities drainage requirement.

The new Burdens will continue to report to Paul Turner, Wolseley UK’s commercial and strategy director. Alan Long will continue as trading director for Burdens, and Drain Center will continue to be run by David Young as trading director.

Commenting on the changes, Steve Ashmore, managing director of Wolseley UK, said: “Wolseley UK greatly values both the Drain Center and Burdens brands. The purchase of the Burdens branches was about providing opportunities for us to grow our presence in civils and utilities and gain an even larger share of these markets.

“We believe that focusing on one group of customers with one proposition under one single brand will give both Burdens and Drain Center a real competitive advantage. It is the vital next step to achieving our objective of being a market leader in above-ground drainage, civils and utilities markets.”

The changes will take effect from 1 August, 2013.

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