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CASE STUDY: Travis Perkins clears £30M of dead stock

By Retail Technology | Monday August 17 2020 | UPDATED 17.08.20

Builders merchant Travis Perkins has used a new ecommerce platform to clear £30M of dead stock.

Founded more than 200 years ago, Travis Perkins has a network of over 640 branches and 200 tool-hire outfits.

At the start of 2020, Travis Perkins identified it had £30m of dead stock in branches – inventory which hasn’t sold. Branches are charged with keeping these products in their stores, taking up space and acting as an under-utilised asset for both the branches and the company itself.

Travis Perkins commissioned 5874 Commerce to create a platform distributing the unsold stock. While the project was launched before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdown has made this initiative more timely as stores stayed closed for a number of weeks at the peak of the crisis.

Supply routes

The website went live at the start of July, with the first 14 branches. By the end of 2020, Travis Perkins is planning to have all 640 branches set up online. The site allows branches to upload their own products to the platform. Customers can order their products via the website and the branch manager then gets in touch to organise collection.

Katherine Green, digital trading manager at Travis Perkins, said: “Construction is back up and running and our services are very much needed. In just 10 weeks 5874 Commerce created a completely new site for us, using the BigCommerce platform.

“Branches are in charge of their own sub-domain websites, meaning they can add the products they have in stock and dictate prices. With desktop and app versions, it’s a straightforward site for our local teams to use across platforms, providing them a new revenue stream as the country adjusts to post-Covid normality.”

Digital power

The Travis Perkins website proved a vital asset during the lockdown period, with stores shut for a number of weeks. Online traffic increased by around 100% during this period, to over 1 million sessions per week and the website was an essential hub for keeping customers informed.

Early lockdown was a time of great confusion and frustration for the industry, with pressure from trade body Build UK to clarify how and whether construction could carry on and Balfour Beatty advising staff to answer that they’re “essential workers” if challenged while out and about.

Green added: “Our website was a vital link with our customer base during this time, as were our Facebook and Twitter channels. Extending our website so it can also support our branches in clearing dead stock has been an important development in our digital strategy, and very much something which will continue further in the future.

“Across the board, consumers are looking for more convenient ways of trading with businesses, in both their personal and professional lives. Our construction customers, whether trade or “self-builders” are no different. Having well-stocked bricks-and-mortar stores is important, but so too is giving buyers the opportunity to plan ahead and know that what they need will be waiting for them. Our dead stock site allows them to do this and get better value than ever.”

User friendly

By working closely with the trading team at Travis Perkins to understand the needs of the branches, 5874 Commerce was able to deliver a site which provided all of the functionality required, while making it user-friendly for stores to manage.

Rupert Cross, project lead and chief digital officer at 5874 Commerce, said: “When Travis Perkins approached us, it was clear they were looking for more than a website. They needed an eCommerce strategy which solves a business challenge – how to clear £30m worth of dead stock. The site we’ve created for them fits into this broader context – it acts as a hub and distribution mechanism for the products sitting in individual stores. We are excited to see the site go live and are continuing to work closely with Katherine and her team, to provide training to the stores, and optimise the strategy further.”



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