Howdens was founded in Yorkshire in 1995. In its first year of operation it had just 14 depots and sales of £1m. Today, Howden Joinery Group has grown to become the UK's leading supplier of kitchens, with the largest rigid cabinet manufacturing capacity in Europe. It employs 8,000 people, has over 600 depots nationwide and generates annual sales of over £1.2 billion.
To supply from local stock nationwide the small builder's ever-changing, routine, integrated kitchen and joinery requirements, assuring best local price, no-call-back quality and confidential trade terms......and to provide the builder's customer with enough choice, advice and aftersales to make a home to be proud of
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The growth and success of Howdens since the business started trading in 1995 have been based on three key aspects of its business model, which have set it apart from other kitchen suppliers.
Howdens' business has been built through recommendation and reputation. It is based on supplying trade customers, principally small builders, with a range of rigid kitchens and joinery products that are always available from local stock, and fitting in with the world in which they work.
To understand how we support our customer, the small builder, click here.
We want staff in our depots to be entrepreneurial and to focus on growing their business and serving their customers. To achieve this, we allow our managers to run their depot as if it was their own business, with managers and their staff sharing in the depot's profitability.
To learn more about our depots, click here.
Our supply function has one customer, the depot. It is completely focused on ensuring that all aspects of the products we sell are right for everyone involved in their purchase and installation. Commercial considerations underpin all our decisions as to whether products should be manufactured in our own UK factories or purchased from external suppliers.
To find out more about supply, click here.
The Howdens business model has allowed us to grow the business to the size it is today. It also gives us confidence in our ability to continue to develop the business profitably in the years to come.
We see three main sources of growth via our depots.
A depot takes around 7 years to reach maturity, and can continue to grow customer accounts, sales and profits thereafter. With our plan to open another 30 depots in 2016, around 25% of our depots are still maturing.
Howdens has plenty of opportunities to open more depots, both in conurbations where we already trade and in new locations. We currently see scope for upto 800 depots across the UK.
Further performance improvement
We plan to deliver further growth opportunities by offering better service to customers, by continuing to improve depot performance and by working to enhance the range, design, quality and availability of our products, most of which are exclusive to Howdens.
We are undertaking a programme of investment in our supply operations that will prepare them for future growth while also improving resilience of our cabinet manufacturing operations.