Howdens is the UK’s number one trade kitchen supplier providing thousands of products across kitchens, joinery and hardware. They have more than 700 depots throughout the UK and Europe – making them the first choice for more than 470,000 loyal trade professionals.

Founded in 1995, Howdens has grown from just 14 depots to more than 700 across the UK and Europe, thanks to the success of their trade-only model. They sell to trade only, who have the expertise to ensure that their products are fitted to the highest possible standard.

The local depots build trusted partnerships with trade professionals, helping them to exceed their customers’ expectations and allowing their businesses to profit from doing so. What underpins this model is a powerful combination of locally empowered depot management and a dedicated supply chain that can deliver an in-stock product framework that is both efficient and cost-effective.

Howdens purpose is to help trade customers achieve exceptional results for their customers and to profit from doing so. When Howdens customers succeed, they do too.

A foundation for success:

Howdens thrives on three core principles that are underpinned by their entrepreneurial culture. These include the trade service and convenience, product leadership, and trade value. Each of the local depots are dedicated to helping local tradespeople build their business. Within each one, builders can find the best local prices, plentiful stock, design support and knowledgeable, proactive staff to support their needs.

At a local level, a Howdens depot opens with a manager and a small number of staff. The manager and staff are responsible for growing their account base and their sales, and for managing their own depot margin.

The depot manager’s autonomy is a key element of Howdens business model. Depot managers hire their own staff, do their own local marketing, set local pricing, manage the level of discount applied to their account holders and manage their own stock levels to suit their local customers. This means our distribution operation has to be attuned to the different needs of around 700 depots. No two deliveries are alike, and each one must be correct, complete and on time.

“We are ‘trade only’, but customers are welcome to view our products. We can help you find a local trade professional if necessary, to create your dream kitchen,” said Caroline Smith, Newton Aycliffe Branch Manager. “Our store is now fully operational and can be found on Durham Way South, next to ROF59”.