TOOLBANK: Big power tool brands, catalogues & Christmas

The super tool wholesaler will bring some weighty power and hand tool brands to the Ricoh Arena show this October, but before then has its huge Christmas promotion and catalogue campaigns to help merchants and tool shops shift stock…

STANLEY, BAHCO, DeWalt and Olympia are among the big name tool brands coming to this year’s Torque-Expo show, taking place at the Ricoh Arena, in Coventry, 3-4 October.

Those names will be coming to the B2B show – which is for the fastener, tool and related distribution industries – with Toolbank. The huge tool wholesaler looks after hundreds of major brands and has an impressive stock holding, with a minimum of £80 million held across its network.

Toolbank Marketing Director Simon Bicknell comments: “We are really looking forward to Torque-Expo Coventry, which is so close to our roots in several ways.

“Not only did we start our trading in the Black Country which is the heart of the fixings and fastener trade, but John Twallin and Arthur Clemson – our co-founders – developed their careers in the industrial tools market before they took the plunge and opened up their own business.

“In addition, our two central distribution warehouses that support our local branch network are still based in the Midlands.

“We will bring a big range as part of our overall portfolio of 30,000 products for every trade and task from over 250 brands such as ABUS, BAHCO, Crescent, Dewalt, Dormer, Duracell, Everbuild, Evostik, Faithfull, Irwin, Komelon, Lighthouse, Milwaukee, Roughneck, Scan, Stabila, STANLEY, Starrett,Teng,WD40 and Yale to name a few.”

The Big Blue Book is back

The busy tool wholesaler has plenty in the works before the Torque-Expo Coventry gets underway in October. One of its biggest marketing projects – aimed at boosting trade for its customers as always – is its epic ‘Big Blue Book’ catalogue.

Making good on Toolbank’s promise of “Tools for every trade and task”, this massive 1,182-page A4 catalogue lists approximately 26,000 products. Updated every two years, around 15% of the catalogue changes for each new version and this new 2018/2019 edition lists products starting from £3.99 to approximately £9,400.

Toolbank has made the catalogue as useful to merchants as possible – and life hard for itself – by listing products like-for-like, rather than by brand. So, for example, you can compare hacksaws with hacsaws, not just blocks of brands.

While the Big Blue Book has been a mainstay in the tool trade for years, the newer A5 version is gaining popularity. It still manages to cram 15,000 products in to its 830-plus pages. In addition, there is a laminated version of the A4 version on a plinth available to stores.

Personalised and branded versions have already been sent out to Toolbank customers, but there are plenty of copies of the standard version available.

“It’s a monster production and we’re very proud of it,” says Bicknell. “If you haven’t already got one, let us know and we’ll get one out to you.”

Toolbank clearly has print covered, but it also has websites available to tool stockists, which can be re-branded up with merchant names – or websites can use Toolbank data.

It gets earlier every year

Also well underway by the time you read this, Toolbank’s big Christmas promotion push is a significant area of focus. Using national TV and press advertising, social media, POS and more, the Christmas promo aims to push custom into independents.

“We had 16 million impressions last year and we’re targeting 20 million impressions this time.”

The TV campaign gets into full swing in November, including prime time slots on ITV1 and lots of presence on sports channels.

Toolbank’s marketing has also seen it work with online trade community On The Tools, which drove traffic to the Real Deals For You website which – crucially – has a store finder so users can find their local Real Deals for You stockist.

“We want to drive people to stores as part of our commitment to help merchants sell through.

Bicknell concluded: “Merchants only need to have some tools in stock, but Toolbank can be their warehouse – we can get tools to them tomorrow. We can handle the logistics and make it easier for them to sell all our ranges.”