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Screwfix celebrates 40 years

Published: 7 January 2020 - John King

Omnichannel retailer, Screwfix turned 40 in December 2019.

From its humble beginnings in Yeovil, Somerset as the Woodscrew Supply Company, Screwfix has transformed over the past forty years to offer busy tradespeople across the UK with what they need, when they need it. Its continued growth since 1979 means more than 8 million customers are now served each year across its stores, contact centre and online.

The first Screwfix Direct catalogue, which is now a toolbox essential for most tradespeople, launched in 1992 and its award-winning 24/7 contact centre and website followed in 1999.

Its evolution from a catalogue-first business has seen Screwfix’s store network grow to 640+ from its first opening in 2005, with the retailer launching a new store at the rate of one per week.  This expansion means that 97% of the UK population is now within a 30-minute drive of a Screwfix store.

Alongside its store network, Screwfix provides industry-leading services such as Click and Collect in as little as one minute. This launched in 2011 and is now used more than 10 million times a year. It also offers next day deliveries every day so, it is crucial Screwfix’s infrastructure can meet the demand of its busy tradespeople. It opened its first distribution centre in Stafford in 2007 and has continued to expand its storage and logistics operation to help its ever-growing customer base get what it needs, when it needs it.

Over the last 40 years, Screwfix’s focus on delivering an omnichannel experience has seen digital innovation sit at the heart of its operations.

Screwfix recognised the importance of meeting the demands of qualified plumbers and electricians and launched its Plumbfix and Electricfix propositions in 2008 and 2009. With a dedicated trade counter and team, it has allowed tradespeople to have a chat over a cuppa, build relationships with their local store and get the industry leading products they need. Meaning Screwfix really are trusted by the trade.

In addition to offering 33,000 products and focusing on services to help busy tradespeople get what they need, when they need it, Screwfix has also championed those who are new to the trade and the professionals leading the way through its annual Trade Apprentice and Britain’s Top Tradesperson competitions.

Screwfix didn’t stop there, though. In 2013, the Screwfix Foundation was founded, with a purpose of raising raise funds for local charities in need. Through the generosity of customers and staff fundraisers, the Foundation has raised over £4 million and supported more than 1000 charities, helping them fix, maintain, repair and improve their facilities.

John Mewett, CEO of Screwfix, said: “Screwfix has come a very long way since its beginnings in 1979 but our customers have remained at the heart of everything we do, helping them get their jobs done quickly, affordably and right first time. We know how busy our tradespeople are, so we’ve spent 40 years earning our customers’ trust and understanding their needs to ensure they have access to the latest products and innovations to keep them ahead of the game.

“We’re proud to have shared our 40th Birthday celebrations with our amazing customers and colleagues across Screwfix.”

As part of Screwfix’s birthday celebrations, alongside a variety of prize giveaways, one lucky customer won a life-changing prize of £40k after finding the winning ticket with an order from the Amersham store.


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