Customer visits up 30% at EH Smith

Published:  03 October, 2013

The introduction of fixed prices at EH Smith has been rewarded with a 30% increase in customer visits across the group’s eight branches.

The new ‘Proper Prices’ campaign, launched as part of a wider £400,000 redevelopment of the firm’s Shirley, Solihull site and then rolled out across the group, saw 13,000 of EH Smith’s most popular items reduced in price from May 2013 onwards.

The campaign has also resulted in a 29% increase in revenue from smaller building firms and other trades - a key target market for EH Smith.

The Shirley site redevelopment, a blueprint for a new strategic direction for EH Smith, increased the customer sales area from 400m2 to over 3000m2; doubled the number of product lines; introduced Good, Better and Best product options; introduced fixed collected prices for the first time in EH Smith’s 90-year history (price-matched to equal/beat competitors) and emphasised one of EH Smith’s USPs: its highly knowledgeable and experienced employees.

John Parker, chief executive of EH Smith, said: “This was a bold move and marked a genuine culture change within the business.

“We carried out research with our customers into what they wanted from their builders’ merchant. We responded to their feedback by giving them more choice; price-matching against our competitors and opening up the whole of the six acre site in Shirley to allow customers to browse and collect their materials whenever they need to. The investment is already paying dividends.”

Communication was also a key focus for the company as Mark Mallinder, EH Smith’s marketing director, added: “Many customers associate EH Smith with our extensive brick selection and supply. However, there is so much more to the business and so the marketing campaign objectives also focused on highlighting EH Smith’s expertise in other areas such as timber, civils, paint and landscaping. We used social media, PR, advertising and direct marketing to communicate with customers and are already seeing the product range purchased by target customers up by as much as 38% in some branches.”

A redevelopment of the Leicester branch is now underway to build on the success of the Solihull launch with plans for more branch investment in discussion for 2014.

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