About Howdens Company

Howdens Company
UK Map with Depots

330 UK Depots
England Wales, Scotland & London

Howdens kitchens

Howdens Kitchens
Range designs units accessories appliances

About Howdens Co.

About Howdens Co.
A trade joinery and kitchen supplier

Howdens products

Joinery Products
Howdens Products: joinery, kitchens, doors, flooring, electrical accessories

Kitchen Fitters

Self Employed
Kitchen fitters recommended by other trades people.

Howdens Company

The Kitchens supply business of Howdens is an product division and trademark protected term. A distinctive brand of Howdens which is marketed to Trade customers through depots typically on industrial estates.

Howdens business mission is to:

"To supply from local stock nationwide, the routine kitchen joinery requirements of the local builder and contractor; assuring best local price and no call-back quality."

The Howdens company has achieved staggering growth rates. By selling their high quality range of kitchens and joinery products at competitive local prices and by maintianing stock for immediate sale and dispatch they have gained market share.

Howdens produce product catalogs including those for fitted kitchens.

As manufactures many of their own kitchen joinery and accessory products.

Depot Network Development

Howdens opened their first depot to the trade in 1995 and in 2006 they had a total to 342. Howdens intends to expand their depot network by 30 new depots a year.

Marketing Strategies

Many depots are strategically positioned close to other trade suppliers on industrial estates in major towns and cities, this is known as relational marketing. Trade clients naturally come across Howdens depots in their normal course of business.

Economies of Scale

Howdens benefits from economies of scale by utilising other routes to market for their kitchen products and ranges.

2005 Growth

In 2005, 22 new depots were opened, 38 existing depots were extended, and 9 were relocated.

MFI formerly associated with Howdens reported that in Early 2006 Howdens continued to trade well with total sales up 9% on the same period last year, more than 6% on a same depot basis.

Trade only

Howden Joinery does not sell direct to public, you need a trade account for kitchens. (This is easy and quick to set up as long as you don't require credit initially). Howdens targets mainly small and medium sized builders, small property developers, local authorities and housing associations. As these are not generally retail clients they don't encroached on their existing retail markets.

Howdens managers appear much focused on both business results and customer service levels, they have an eye for the market and they are accommodating to deal with, so give your local co. a call.

Company results

2005 results and business developments

MFI Group report increasingly difficult trading conditions for Howdens in 2005 but good performance with turnover increasing by 10.5%.

  • Howden UK sales were £617.8m
  • Howden UK pre exceptional operating profit was £103.6m (2004: £102.8m).
  • In the first part of 2006, Howdens UK reports good trading

Howdens UK

Operating profit before exceptional items103.6102.8

New strategic focus:

  • Accelerating new Howdens depot openings, consistent with successful business model
  • To grow Howdens

Operational Review

Existing depot turnover rose by 6.8% on average. Gross margins also rose 'by 110 basis points' but the usual scale diss-economies meant resulted in operating profit before exceptional items being similar to 2004 at £103.6m. The main increase in costs were staff (£8.4m), pension (£6.0m) and logistics (£5.2m).

The increase in staff costs are viewed by the company as an investment, they occurred as a result of the progressive depot opening programme in Early 2005, however a cash conservation drive appears to have restricted this expansion in late 2005.

The business has strong growth opportunities and many well placed and profitable depots, but also those that have been heavily invested in.

Existing depots

Existing depot sales and turnover is expected to grow as they mature. The introduction of new product and kitchen ranges helps and the display of the modern and contemporary kitchen designs in their brochures help to revitalise interest and bring in new trade customers.

If depots are poorly located or missing opportunities because of scale they have been expanded or re-located.

Like much of the building and construction trade, it is a cash generative business.

Kitchens are sold only to the trade - kitchen designers, planners, marketing and sales companies, joiners and builders.

Howden Milwork

In 2005 Mathew Ingle was appointed CEO and following a review of the Group he closed the Howden 20 depot pilot business 'Howden Milwork' in Southeast America. The cost of this closure is put at £13.1m, however the business loss was lower down from £8.6m in 2004 to £6.9m in 2005.

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