Total Tools Geelong wins Franchise Store of the Year
Established just over five years ago, Total Tools Geelong recently won the prestigious Store of the Year Award at the Total Tools Supplier Conference in September.
Total Tools Geelong
Warren Jones and Shouk Asaad
Owners Warren Jones and Shouk Asaad, along with store manager, Allan Down have successfully built the large store into the success story it is today, through hard work, good support and employing good people who all work well together.
Warren, who is also the Chairman of Total Tools, said he believes what sets the store apart from other stores is its large 2200 square metre format.
“It’s spacious. It’s big. It’s got heaps of stock and it’s all about professional tools. Our range is extensive and we have lots and lots of stock. Along with the store’s large format, there is also plenty of parking and the store is located in an easy to access location. Not only is the store located on a main road within Geelong’s industrial zone, but it also sits amongst key trade outlets and bulky goods operators,” he said.
The store was a former homemaker centre that had closed down, but had operated in two separate premises. However, Warren and Shouk negotiated with the landlord to turn the store into one tenancy of 2200 square metres.
Growing the business
When it comes to marketing and growing the store’s sales in recent years, Warren said it is true that retailing is a simple business which is profoundly hard to do well.
“When growing the business, firstly it is about remembering the basics which includes, good stock levels, a diverse range, new products, good merchandising, a changing store environment, friendly sales staff and good service. We drive the business hard by firstly maximising national activity comprising of 13 catalogues and we add to this with regular local area marketing events,” Warren said.
“We also believe it is important that the store environment does not become static, so we work hard to make sure the store looks different through themed displays, by also changing bulk displays and making changes through supplier supported merchandising initiatives. With an abundance of new products to accommodate changes within the store, we are always challenged as to how we re-merchandise to fit it all in,” he said.
Extensive hardware industry backgrounds
Warren and Shouk both boast former marketing, manufacturing and industrial design backgrounds. Warren is a former National Marketing Manager of Makita, while also working for Dulux Trade and Selleys, while Shouk has a background in senior manufacturing and industrial design, before becoming a part of the Total Tools Group.
Both Shouk and Warren are an extensive part of the Total Tools business, operating three more Victorian Total Tools stores in Brooklyn, South Melbourne and Melton, as well as having plans in place to open a new store in Darwin soon.
Warren also pointed out that Total Tools Geelong has become a very diverse business in terms of the categories it offers, with several in-store departments and products proving to be popular in-store.
“In store we have many different categories which cater to a diverse range of customers including, automotive tools, compressors, air tools, welding, safety, hand tools, welding, machinery, ladders, power tools, and power tool accessories galore,” he said.
During the week the store mostly caters to local tradies, however on the weekends a lot of serious DIYers visit the store to check out the latest products and specials in-store, however Warren said the store is mostly about trade.
Warren said the store is a mature store that continues to grow, despite the fact that Geelong has felt the brunt of imminent major manufacturing closures, including Ford and the GFC. Despite the substantial closures in the industrial sector, Geelong remains a busy town of 220,000, on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, located 75 kilometres south-west of Melbourne.
“Geelong is a working class town, and the home of Ford Australia. We are all about professional tools and we try hard to deliver great service to our customers,” Warren said.
“We plan to do a lot more smaller events in the store that will be targeted at specific trades or end user groups. One example of this would be a hand welding day for our customers, where customers get to speak to the experts from Cigweld and try before they buy. We also work very closely with all our power tool supplier partners to drive new product demonstrations and sales,” he said.
Looking into the future……
“Soon we will enter the Christmas period and the store staff will put their energy into theming the store and building big displays of pre-gift wrapped tools that are perfect for putting under the Christmas tree, while also getting the new Total Tools Darwin store up and running, which is the first Total Tools store to open in the Northern Territory,” he said.