County Plumbing Supplies in Didcot, Oxfordshire opened its doors in late February 2022, with the aim to be a one-stop-shop for local tradespeople, giving them easy access to plumbing, heating, and bathroom supplies
Open to the trade and public, this new store has a strong product offering - stocking the best brands at great prices. What’s more, the team at County Plumbing Supplies has over 115 years of industry expertise between the four of them. Nick, Graham, Richard, and Anthony have all previously worked together and understand what an independent merchant needs to offer.
Nick Wheatley, the owner said: “customers not only want a great price, but they also want good, unbiased advice, and therefore the ability to offer exceptional customer service is key.” He went on to say: “you should always be honest to your customers to ensure their expectations are met.”
The new premises boasts over 8,000 sq. foot of warehouse and storage space and importantly, ample car parking for customers’ vans and cars to park. The shop design has a modern and fresh feel with an element of the ‘wow-factor’.“
A large bathroom showroom is being built in phase 2 of the store build.
Having been in the industry since 1985, Nick Wheatley, the owner, worked for several independent merchants before founding his own business ‘UK Plumbing Supplies’ in 2005. He retired in 2018 but was encouraged by previous customers to return. He explained what was key to bringing him back to the industry: “The people – our customers. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to serve the local community. We care about our customers, and we enjoy being able to meet their needs and help them to solve any problems.”
Graham Bustin was Branch Manager at Oxford Plumbing Supplies (part of UK Plumbing Supplies) when he met Nick and has a lot of management experience in the industry. Graham jumped at the opportunity to join Nick as a director and shareholder at County Plumbing Supplies, as he shares his sentiments when it comes to a customer-first mindset. Graham said:” Every time a business makes a decision, it should think about how such a decision might affect its customers. Putting your customer first is not a one-off action. It’s imperative that your whole team is knowledgeable and has the right information to hand, it’s the whole attitude of a business that fosters a positive customer experience.”
Routes to market have changed over the years - with the introduction of digital channels, and Nick and his team understand the need to engage with websites and social media, especially amongst their younger customers who prefer to communicate this way.
County Plumbing supplies are a member of The IPG and proudly promotes this fact on their new signage. The IPG is a membership group that commits to providing business and marketing support to local independent plumbing and heating stores and bathroom showrooms. It has the expertise to support Nick’s team with not only their purchasing power, but all digital aspects including a website, social media content, and an in-store digital screen. Glenn Fisher, The IPG’s Managing Director said: “We are committed to encouraging communities to support their local IPG member store, where alongside unrivalled service and unbiased honest advice, a customer is likely to find that their shopping basket is cheaper.”