It’s now well over 20 years since Lister Trade Frames opened a small trade counter operation at their premises in Stoke on Trent. What seemed to be just an aside to their main manufacturing business of windows and doors for the trade, has now blossomed into a fully grown regional operation in its own right.
Listers BIGTradeCounter is now Staffordshire’s largest independent building plastics and construction materials supplier. From the original few trims stocked back in 1992, Listers now supply leading brands from the likes of FloPlast, FreeFoam, Everbuild and Firestone Roofing. But the key reasons for their success are explained by Trade Counter Manager Wayne Tracey;
“We are constantly looking for new products and services that will help our customers to grow their businesses. It’s no use just selling what you’re asked for, or what your competitors are selling… you have to understand what your customers need to do their job well and how to make it easy for them to do business with you and that’s what our team focuses on.”
As an example of this approach, consider some of the ‘extra’ lines that the BIGTradeCounter sell that aren’t immediately associated with your more run-of-the-mill Building Plastics Merchant, items like roofing laths and timbers, plasterboards, cement, rooflights and work clothes. These items are all competitively priced and readily available from Listers which saves their customers time and money going elsewhere to buy them. And they even have a catering van on site to help customers start the day with a full tummy.
This proactive and supportive strategy continues to pay dividends as the BigTradeCounter is expecting to achieve total sales in excess of £2.0 Million this year and have just had their best ever month in July with sales exceeding £200,000 for the first time.
“We’ve had an incredibly busy period boosted by some new local businesses that have joined us and through our support to customers on larger commercial contracts.” Wayne said, “But none of this would have happened without the dedicated and hardworking members of our team. Customers value their product knowledge and the extra mile they go to support them.”
It’s taken Listers a good while to build this part of their business and it really works for them. They have broadened their customer base and made it easier for existing and new customers to work with them. The trade counter team’s enthusiasm is obvious to anyone who visits the store; they want to be the best at what they do. And with their latest sales results exceeding their own high expectations the BIGTradeCounter is a continuing success.