ToolStop highlights growth of online trade

ToolStop highlights growth of online trade

After selling power tools to customers across Scotland for half a century, Lanarkshire-based ToolStop decided to move its operation online and opened its doors to a multi-million-pound market.

Noel Kegg Ltd was founded by Noel Kegg in Bellshill in 1965 after years of working for a hardware merchant. Noel saw the opportunity to offer the same products at a lower price with even better customer service. He opened his store and spent his lunch hours canvassing other local businesses for trade.

52 years later, his son Calum now leads the business, known online as ToolStop, which has grown from these humble beginnings on the outskirts of Glasgow to record a turnover of £42m in 2016. ToolStop sells power tools, hand tools and other electrical and storage equipment from leading brands to customers in Scotland, the UK and around the world.

ToolStop’s E-Commerce Manager, Neil Bruce says moving online has enabled the company to keep growing from its base in Bothwell and it now sells to customers across Europe, America and Australia.

“Ever since our MD, Calum Kegg, took us online we’ve really benefitted and grown as a company. We saw our biggest growth in the early stages, when countries like those in Scandinavia, and even France and Germany were catching up online. Because our competitors in those countries hadn’t fully developed their online stores, we were able to get a foothold there and really establish ourselves as a great company to work with and purchase from. With that business coming from outside of UK, we were able to grow back home.”

In 2008, ToolStop joined Amazon Marketplace to further boost business across the UK and Europe. It is now one of the many thousands of Scottish businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace.

“Being on Amazon isn’t just great for selling products online. Our presence there makes more and more people aware of ToolStop and the items we sell. When we moved online we realised how much potential there was for a company like us. We pride ourselves on our customer service, it’s what the company has been built on for the last 50 years. Being on the Amazon Marketplace means customers know they’re buying from a reputable company. Last year we sold around £3million worth of goods on Amazon, so it’s an important part of our business,” adds Neil.

The growth hasn’t just been good for the family run business – it’s also been able to offer a range of jobs for people in the Lanarkshire area.

“We have 60 people working for us now. It’s a really great team and we’re getting more and more efficient all the time. We have people working across sales, digital marketing, customer services and administration so we’ve been able to create some fantastic roles for people in the area.”

Expansion isn’t likely to stop though as Neil says ToolStop is looking ahead to more success.

“Our plan for the future is to really build on our share of the market in the UK. It is really competitive but we’re confident that our great products and customer service will see us progress there. As well as the UK market it’s great to see more and more business coming to us from Europe and a lot of that is down to us being able to sell on Amazon Marketplace.”

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