From its Leicestershire base, Faulks & Cox was established in 1981 and originally supplied containers to agricultural and equestrian merchants. Its key product line, Gorilla Tubs, was introduced to the building trade in 2000 to immediate success, and the company continues to develop and expand its product range.
Having recently embarked on a rebrand to encompass all its product ranges under one unified name – Red Gorilla — 2017 is set to be a busy year for the supplier.
PBM speaks to Chris Birch, National Sales Manager at Faulks & Cox.
How did you get into the industry and to your current position?
I started selling tools and agricultural products in 1987 after I joined a merchant in Birmingham. I left in 1999 and from there joined a wholesaler based in Warwick, covering the Midlands and Mid-Wales. During this time I met Dean Cox who is now Managing Director of Faulks & Cox. We became good friends over the years, having spent much time standing at various trade shows selling our products. In 2009, after working for both Arrow Fasteners and Caldwells, I was offered a sales position at Faulks & Cox. There was rapid company expansion after that, and I am now National Sales Manager, heading up a team of representatives and agents.
How do you feel the industry has changed in recent years?
The biggest change is the effect of the internet on retailing generally. The independents have to work harder to attract customers to their brick and mortar stores, so at Faulks & Cox, we make sure all of our products are backed up with top of the range point of sale materials.
The best products deserve to be seen and presented well with the best imagery, taking away any reason not to buy.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge so far was getting our range of tools and brands established in a market place that already had a number of well-known brands.
And what are the current challenges facing the company?
Currency fluctuations have inevitably complicated matters as we sell all around the world. Also, a number of inferior copy tubs are entering the market place, however whilst these tubs initially look the part, they don’t have the same strength and flexibility as the original Gorilla Tub and often fail once put to the test. Some merchants see these at a cheap price and stock them, unaware of the issues that will follow.
Which individual has influenced you most in your career?
The individuals that have influenced me most are my children. They have always given me a reason to go out to work each day and always lifted me up when I’ve returned after a tough day — two real diamonds!
“The independents have to work harder to attract customers to their brick and mortar stores, so at Faulks & Cox, we make sure all of our products are backed up with top of the range point of sale materials.”
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
There have been many highlights during my time at Faulks & Cox, most recently seeing some of our products winning awards and the continual praise and satisfaction that our service gives.
This year we are launching our big rebrand to Red Gorilla which will pull all our brands under one unified name, logo and livery. In five years, the whole Red Gorilla range will be totally recognisable across many products in all trades in the building industry and will be mainstay items in this burgeoning industry.