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Our depots

Our depots

Our purpose as a business is to help trade customers achieve exceptional results for their customers, and to profit from doing so. We believe the best way to source and install a kitchen is to work with a local tradesperson, and we are clear that the future success of our business lies in serving the trade market to the highest standards.

Our depots build strong local relationships with their customers and have the autonomy and trade quality in-stock products to provide a high level of service. Depots are located where our customers need them, with a typical Howdens depot being in an edge-of-town location - this is more convenient for our customers and cheaper for us to rent. In 2020 around 85% of our UK customers lived within 5 miles of a Howdens depot.

Our decentralised business model empowers local depot managers to build trusted trade-only relationships and we help our trade customers succeed in selling to their customers in the following ways:

  • We provide trade accounts to support the builder’s cashflow
  • We offer design and planning services
  • We offer home visits for end-users
  • We provide marketing materials
  • We have the right product in stock in local depots.

748

UK Depots

(including 5 in Northern Ireland)

30

International depots

(includes 28 French and 2 Belgian)

16

New UK depots in 2020

Reaching more builders

One of our strategic objectives is to increase trade convenience and grow our market share by reaching more builders. To achieve this, we will continue to open more UK depots close to our customers. We know that adding a new depot near to an existing one sees overall sales increase and we continue to see scope for 850 depots in the UK. In addition, we will open more depots in France, at the right pace and in the right places.

In 2020 we opened 16 new depots in the UK. In 2021 we are targeting around 35 UK depot openings, including some more in Northern Ireland.

 

Expanding our depot network

Depot evolution

We are opening depots in an updated format to use space more efficiently and to provide the best environment for our staff and customers to do business in. In 2020 we also converted 30 existing depots to our updated format, bringing the total new-format depots to 117 and we re-racked the warehouse areas of 17 existing depots, bringing the total re-racked depot warehouses to 79.

Depot evolution

International market

We opened 4 depots in France in the second half of 2020, ending the year with a total of 30 across France and Belgium.

We have seen that consumer spend in the French market has been switching into home improvement, as in the UK, and the market is starting to shift from DIY to ‘Do It For Me’ – just as it was in the UK when Howdens first started. Consumers want everything quickly, and we’re the only one who offers our range of quality and product from stock.
French depot