Alltrade has celebrated its 30th year in business and three decades of growth distributing aerial, satellite, IRS, CI and smart home products to the trade. Having leased a small shop in Hove back in 1989, the brand has grown to encompass six fully stocked trade counter warehouses across the south, a cutting edge high-speed website and a comprehensive, award-winning free training calendar for its customers.
“Like any successful business with three decades of trading behind it, Alltrade has continued to evolve and adapt to the market,” says Steve Simper, Alltrade MD. “From originally supplying aerial and satellite hardware from a single shop-front unit, we grew through Sky and later Sky Digital, terrestrial TV switchover and adapted to encompass commercial IRS and fibre distribution. The CI market presented a huge opportunity for the business and we now stock a comprehensive portfolio of AV, HVAC and security products, backed up by our free planning and specifying service, over-the-counter or next-day delivery and a broad range of training programmes.”
The 30th celebrations kicked off in May with a discount scheme on all products, tiered to offer the longest standing customers 10% off their entire order, and an open day at all Trade Counters offering refreshments and bacon rolls to customers popping in.
Landmark developments in the company’s history include offering free next day delivery from 1998, introducing its widely regarded catalogue in 2002 and relocating the HQ to a 15,000sqft unit in Brighton & Hove in 2004. Alltrade opened its Cardiff branch in 2001, Dartford (now located in Maidstone) in 2003, Watford (now located in Hemel Hempstead) in 2004, Bournemouth in 2015 and Reading in 2018. The Alltrade Trade Show was introduced in 2009 and continues to be an annual must-visit event for installers.
The company also boasts introducing one of the trade’s first interactive websites, with real-time stock availability and pricing, back in 1996. The fourth generation of the site, launched last year, leverages cutting edge IP technology to deliver super-fast navigation irrespective of whether it is viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
“Customer service has underpinned Alltrade’s growth from the early years,” adds Steve. “Happy customers are loyal customers and services like our free local delivery in our own vans is highly regarded. Our drivers get to know customers and the projects, and we offer a trusted keyholder service enabling deliveries even when no one is present.”
Days before its 30th birthday, Alltrade scooped the prestigious Smart Building Award for Best Training. Since the introduction of its CI and smart home portfolio, training has been a key element in developing the business through developing customers. While most distributors offer training, Alltrade offers a broad portfolio of free programmes and seminars in dedicated facilities at all six of its trade counter sites. The scope of the training available and the local availability, saving installers time and travelling costs, saw Alltrade scoop the award against stiff competition from dedicated CI-only distributors.
“It is an exciting time across CI, IRS and the growth of the smart home,” adds Steve, “and these sectors will drive our growth over the next decade. Now we have top-tier brands like ELAN on board, with several others soon to be announced, we can offer a full portfolio of products to complete almost all residential or commercial installation projects. Back that up with local trade counters, free training, free planning, free delivery and free technical support, and we believe the future is even brighter.”