Broad Sreet DIY: leading the way in independent retailing
In February, Broad Street DIY was named Retailer of the Year at the 2017 DIY Week Awards, with judges and suppliers praising the Bromsgrove-based independent for its forward-thinking initiatives. DIY Week catches up with director Brian Warren to discuss the win and find out what’s next for the high-flying retailer...
What’s your background? How did you get to where you are today? Broad Street DIY was started by my Mum and Dad when I was 10 years old. I worked in the original shop a little as a teenager but, in 1989, I took time out to visit Australia for six months on a working visa. When I returned I worked in the business part-time while studying for a business degree. I became a full-time director when the shop moved to its current
Worcester Road in 2001. Since then, I have helped manage the day-to-day running of the shop.
Tell us a bit about more your business Tony and Linda Warren opened Broad Street DIY in Bromsgrove in 1979. The business has grown
from humble beginnings – when local deliveries were made by Tony and his brother Tim, using a trailer hitched to an old Cortina car! The introduction
of Sunday heralded a turning point
business. Tony’s innovative approach ensured the shop could capitalize on Sunday opening – by selling onions to get round the Trading Laws! Today we operate from larger premises with an extensive first floor kitchen and bathroom showroom and an outside yard selling landscaping materials. Three generations of the Warren family now work at Broad Street DIY.
How did it feel to win Retailer of the Year at the 2017 DIY Week Awards? Were you surprised? Very surprised. We were in shock for about an hour! Extremely proud of our whole team.
Why do you think you won? This is tough because there were many excellent businesses competing for the title. I think perhaps because we don’t try to compete with the larger national chains. We operate the business as we have always done, focusing on what we’re good at – selling the essential DIY supplies, listening to what our customers want and encouraging people to buy locally from independent shops to help support the local economy.
Suppliers have praised Broad St for being a “forward-thinking independent” – how do you maintain this reputation? We are committed to offering an exceptional level of customer service, not only when serving customers on the shop floor but through a programme of special events to help people improve DIY skills. These include our DIY Ladies Night events, which we introduced in 2015 and now run twice a year due to popular demand. We
trialled an in-store The business is run by directors Brian, Tony, Paul and Hayley Warren as well as Lisa Childs 14 DIY WEEK 28 APRIL 2017
Saturday morning DIY Help Clinic in February and March and are looking at working with local youth groups to help teach the younger generation
basic DIY skills, which are important skills for life. Through extensive research we recognise that DIY skills are no longer passed down from one generation to the next, as they once were, and we feel it’s important we do something to help address what could become a crisis situation for the DIY industry in future years. We are always exploring new ways to inspire people, whatever their age or gender, to tackle and enjoy DIY and home improvement projects.
What is an average working day for you? Organising the staff and deliveries, ordering stock, checking prices and making sure every customer leaves with a smile and a product.
What’s on your agenda for the next 12 months? We are working towards introducing e-commerce as an additional sales channel. In December 2016 we installed a new epos till system – for greater efficiency on the shop floor and better stock management, but also to enable us to sell online to increase revenue potential and offer what may be a more convenient
Broad Street DIY recently took home the coveted Retailer of the Year prize at the DIY Week Awards
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