Darlaston Builders merchants have just opened an impressive brand new 3-acre site in the Midlands. They supply a large range of building materials including Long Rake Spar’s Natural Selection decorative aggregates. Darlaston have chosen to cover all basis with their aggregate product offering. This includes a wide spectrum of colours and sizes allowing for this merchant to be a ‘one stop shop’. Our account manager for the South-West and Central England paid a visit to the grand opening and was wowed by the scope and modern design of this site. The site also boasted a large purpose built wooden aggregate display area next to the entrance. Along side this area was a stretch dedicated to pallets of 20kg bagged decorative aggregates.
An insight from the team at Darlaston Builders Merchant
We wanted to dive deeper and gain an insight from the Team at Darlaston so we spoke with Louise Norman, Human Resources Manager. We asked what differentiates Darlaston from other builders merchants, in which Louise responded;
‘Having been part of the community for 35 years, local people are familiar with the Darlaston brand in this area. We are confident that they wouldn’t have experienced a merchant like us before. Ultimately, it’s about providing the right products, at the right price, when our customers need them. This must be done in a professional, friendly and welcoming way. We believe that Darlaston Builders Merchants Walsall gives us the perfect environment to serve the needs of the local community, whatever size or type of project are working on. To cater for this the branch provides a go to store for all building products, including bricks, plumbing, landscaping, electrical, drainage and civils, insulation and plaster board, workwear and timber.’
Purpose built aggregate display stands used as a marketing tool...
As we know, Covid has pushed back a lot of plans and this has not left Darlaston unscathed. Due to this, the opening of the site at Walsall has taken a lot longer than expected. Louise tells us;
‘The team managed to remain positive and are super proud of how the wonderful the new site looks. The new branding with its bold orange and grey logo is certainly getting us noticed’
Long Rake Spar can agree the orange and grey is a great choice!
Taking a closer look at the marketing of the aggregates, we noticed Darlaston have a purpose built large display. We asked what influenced this; ‘Creating a large aggregate display area is a great marketing tool. The displays instantly captures the customers attention and allows them to inspect and envisage the products on their own property. The ease in which these can be displayed allows us to showcase the wide range and quality of products Darlaston are able to supply’.
Long Rake Spar provide builders merchants with point of sale, and aggregate sample stands free of charge to customers in order to help promote products.
Choosing the right suppliers for a new site is just as important. Suppliers are the backbone that helps a branch meet its customer demands. We asked why Natural Selection was the chosen as an aggregate supplier – ‘It’s an easy choice to choose Natural Selection due their extensive range of decorative aggregates that are readily available in the UK. We understand that the building industry is a people business and all about relationships. That’s why we’ve hand-picked the very best suppliers with expert knowledge to ensure we have the right products to provide outstanding customer service’, Louise Norman.
In a world where time is money, Long Rake Spar understand the importance of having our stocks replenished. We have four strategically placed processing facilities across the country with storage capacity of 9000 pallets and 70KT of bulk loose stock. This is just within the Natural Selection brand.
An increase in demand for aggregates in the domestic market..
The reliance on a trusted aggregate supplier is further emphasised by an increase in demand in the wider market for decorative aggregates. We asked the team if they had noticed this themselves;
‘There has been approximately a 20% increase in the demand for aggregates in the past 18 to 24 months. As a result of Covid we haven’t been travelling so much. This results in the public turning their own gardens/properties into their private oasis. Aggregates are a surprisingly versatile material which can be a fun, and easily-maintained alternative to simple beds or paving and can create make an almost instant visual impact’.
This has been confirmed by wider studies which confirmed Covid has also had a positive impact on the gardening industry. 86% said they spent more time than usual in their gardens and 92% said their gardens were ‘extremely’ important to them during lockdown but this has continued as Covid has become a more long term issue. (Office for National Statistics, 2021)