RUBI UK & Ireland celebrates its 15th birthday

IT has already been 15 years since RUBI opened its doors in the UK and Ireland.

It was in April 2004, when the company started running with a team of seven employees, four of whom still work in the company. The main professional cutters available at that time were the TS and the TX manual cutters.

RUBI UK grew significantly and had to move in June 2007 to the current much larger premises. Since that date the growth has continued rapidly to where RUBI UK is today with over 15000 loyal users in the UK & Ireland. 

The following years were crucial in terms of technology and innovation. RUBI UK launched the redesigned TX & TX-N range in 2009, the predecessor of the latest most advanced TX to date, the TX MAX, and also the new TS-PLUS range with a more powerful breaker system. Three years later, the company launched the Slim System Cutter in the UK & Ireland, the manual cutting system with connectable guides for large format tiles up to 310 cm.

In 2016 Rubi UK & Ireland employed a new sales representative to service the North and South of Ireland. This completed the Sales Representative team giving users a great service from Lands End to John O’Groats, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Shetland. 

RUBI hasn’t stopped innovating and developing new products and, in 2017 it launched the TS MAX manual cutter, a manual cutter with a high-performance breaker and patented the RUBI ZERO DUST, a system to improve on-site working conditions with electric bridge saws.

Following this trend of innovation, in 2018 RUBI launched the most advanced manual cutter in the market, the TZ. Also launching the new Speed Magnet and TR Magnet into the professional cutter market. 

All these efforts have been recognised when RUBI won the Delta Awards by the Industrial Design Association of Arts and Design (ADI-FAD) in the category Best Design, for the Tile Level Quick levelling system and the TZ manual cutter, and been ranked on the top 4 Catalan companies in number of patented companies by the European Patent Office. 

This year 2019 has seen more new innovative products: RUBI upgraded its SLAB System range, introducing the SLAB TRANS HEAVY DUTY and the TC-125 KIT for large format tiles, and presented the powerful TX-MAX, a professional manual cutter with high-performance multipoint breaker.

But all these achievements and improvements wouldn’t have been possible without the trust and support of more than 15000 loyal users of the RUBI Tools!

RUBI wants to thank these users for the confidence shown over the last 15 years and offers to their users great deals on the TX-MAX professional manual cutter.

For more information, visit RUBI's 15th anniversary page.

QEP announces landmark charity partnership with the Rainy Day Trust

LEADING tiling tools and accessories supplier QEP has announced a new partnership with the Rainy Day Trust, a charity that helps people who have worked in the home improvement and enhancement industry.

The partnership, which began January 2020, will see QEP assist the Rainy Day Trust through fund raising and activity support.

The Rainy Day Trust began as an ironmongery and hardware trades benevolent society in 1843. Today, the charity supports workers in DIY retail, manufacturing, and distribution, as well as tradespeople within the home improvement and enhancement sector.

The trust provides beneficiaries and their families with assistance through financial and legal aid, alongside the awarding of grants.

Peter Stone, Rainy Day Trust chairman, said: “It’s great to form a new partnership with businesses such as QEP. The company’s long-standing position within the DIY consumer marketplace means we can share knowledge and raise awareness to better help the people who need our support.”

Paul Boyce, President – International Operations/European CEO at QEP, said: “We’re extremely proud to announce our partnership with the Rainy Day Trust. The work the charity does is incredibly valuable for those within our industry. We hope to make a valuable contribution to the Trust’s fundraising and awareness initiatives.”

“We have many different activities planned throughout the year to both increase awareness and raise funds for our former and fellow industry professionals in need.”

Toolstation celebrates 400th branch opening in Balham with launch event

THIS month, British retailer Toolstation is celebrating a significant milestone – opening its 400th branch on the Zennor Road Trade Park in Balham.

Part of the Travis Perkins plc Group, Toolstation supplies tools, accessories and building supplies to the trade nationwide. The launch event is on Friday, 24 January, from 11am to 2pm.

The 400th branch opening is a significant milestone for the business and follows a period of sustained growth that is set to continue into 2020. The business has enjoyed 10 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. Most recently, Q3 trading results showed growth of 21.3% and 15.4% on a like-for-like basis.

On the day, the team from the popular On the Tools social media platform will be in attendance. They will be checking out products, interviewing staff and live streaming the event to their audience of 3.5m from 12.15pm. They will be running a variety of games giving customers a chance to win power tools, pressure washers and a lawn mower.

Rugby fans will be able to try their luck at the Toolstation rugby kick and pass challenge, to be in with a chance of winning a Dewalt Combi drill.

Trade brands Trend and Everbuild will be in attendance showcasing their products and will be on hand to talk to customers.

The first 400 customers can pick up a free Greggs sausage roll and soft drink in-branch or available for collection from the near-by Greggs bakery. Free hot drinks are also available at the Balham Toolstation branch.

To celebrate, there will be a 10% discount off everything in-store, from Thursday, 23 January to Sunday, 26 January.

At 12.30pm on Friday, Toolstation Managing Director James MacKenzie and Marketing Director John Meaden will be cutting a ribbon to celebrate the 400th store opening, as well cutting a celebratory cake with customers and staff.

The Balham branch is the 400th nationwide and the 64th in London. The Balham branch employs seven people permanently. The ambition is to double the number of stores in the capital in the coming years. In 2019, Toolstation opened 67 new branches nationally, creating 800 new jobs. In London, nine new branches opened and 67 jobs were created last year. This growth shows no sign of slowing down with a similar number of new branches planned this year.

James MacKenzie, Managing Director, commented: “Toolstation is one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK. As well as having market leading products at great prices, we make it easy for our busy trade customers to buy online and pick up from store. The 400th Store in Balham has free parking and complements the other 63 stores in London, which means a Toolstation is never far away.”

Hitachi adopts new CESAR ECV initiative

HITACHI Construction Machinery (UK) has confirmed that from January 2020, every mini, medium and large excavator, wheeled loader and wheeled excavator will be fitted with the CESAR Security System powered by Datatag technologies as standard.

The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) officially launched the new CESAR Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV) at Plantworx in June 2019. CESAR ECV is an invaluable ‘bolt-on’ product that compliments the existing CESAR Security System and allows quick and easy verification of a machines emissions category.

The initiative developed in response to the demand for an easy and reliable way to confirm the emissions category of construction equipment has been well received by the industry, including Hitachi who will adopt CESAR ECV as well as the standard CESAR Security System.

This feature, using evident colour coded labels with a unique alpha/numeric code is linked securely to a machine’s unique CESAR identity and ensures complete integrity of the system.

David Roberts, CEO of Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) said, “Helping our customers to protect and optimise their Hitachi machines is an increasingly important element of our value proposition, and in conjunction with our online Global e-Service telematics system which has GPS location capability, the addition of CESAR gives our customers even more peace of mind. CESAR is not only a proven theft deterrent, it also provides an accurate and efficient proof of identity to the Police when they need to trace stolen machines, which has been an industry-wide issue for years. Our customers also require a quick and easy way to identify which stage of the EU emission regulations their machines comply with, as more sites control and monitor their carbon footprint. The addition of the Emissions Compliance Verification or ECV to the CESAR program gives our machines a visible and traceable identity in regard to which emission stage they comply with.”

Stephen Creaser, Director of Product Support at Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) commented, “Having taken the decision to security mark all new machines with the CESAR security system, we also want to offer the same peace of mind to our existing customers. From early 2020 the CESAR security system will be available to existing customers as an aftermarket retrofit kit that can be installed at the customers premises or job site by a fully trained Hitachi engineer.”

Rob Oliver, Chief Executive of the CEA said, “The Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV) application for CESAR is the single biggest development since the scheme was launched as an anti-theft device initiative in 2007. Today there is an urgent demand for quick identification of the certified emission levels of machines and in developing ECV we have had some great input from the industry as well as HS2, the Energy Savings Trust and London boroughs. The ECV’s easy to see and scan visual label reduces the workload for construction site managers and local authorities alike.”

The construction industry is looking increasingly on its’ environmental impacts and as such CESAR ECV will be invaluable to companies required to manage large scale projects and multiple contractors ensuring plant on site is as environmentally efficient as possible.

Andy Huddleston, Superintendent of Northumbria Police said, “As the national Police lead for Agricultural Machinery theft I am delighted that Hitachi CMUK, one of the industry’s leading companies, has chosen to security mark all their new machines sold in the UK. We know that by doing this the chance of recovering these high-value machines is higher and makes life harder for criminals. We hope that all manufacturers will adopt this approach.”

Dormole continues to invest in Tools and Fixings Trade

FORGEFIX owner, Dormole Ltd has continued its policy of investing in independent suppliers to the Tools and Fixings Trade by taking a majority stake in Harrison & Clough (H&C), the fixings and fasteners wholesaler based in Keighley.

Michael Brown, MD of Forgefix who led the discussions with H&C commented: “We have long been admirers of H&C who have developed several market leading brands such as MetalMate, MasonMate and TimberMate that all complement our existing ranges and we believe that by combining resources we can greatly improve our offering to customers.”

H&C Managing Director Mark Hutchinson said: “As an independent, privately run business it has become increasingly difficult for us to maintain the level of investment that is required to develop our ranges and services in the way that we want, and the market demands. Therefore, the opportunity to join the Dormole group, who share our values and ambitions, is ideal.

“We have seen the way they have invested in companies such as Forgefix, Olympia and BIZ and have been impressed by how they have grown those businesses. We are all really excited by the opportunities this collaboration will bring for all stakeholders - customers, suppliers and colleagues.”

Michael Brown continued: “I am absolutely confident that this investment is an excellent fit for all involved and will enable us to improve our offer to our customers whilst at the same time providing a very positive future for the H&C and Forgefix teams.

"The management team at Keighley, will continue to run the business with the additional backing of the resources and support of the Dormole group.”

Samac grows sales team with two new appointments

LEADING nails, screws and fixings supplier Samac has grown its sales team with the appointment of two area sales managers, allowing the company to expand its distribution.

James Drury has 12 years of industry experience gained after running an independent builders merchant and developing specialist adhesives and sealant knowledge at Bond-It. James will be covering the north west coast region in an area stretching from Scotland down to Birmingham.

Steven Fielding, who has spent the past 20 years at a similar company, brings extensive product expertise to his new position. He will be covering the London and East Anglia region, and has taken over from Net Franklin who is now developing Samac’s offering in the south west of England.

During his time at an independent builders merchant, James was a Samac customer so is extremely familiar with the company’s products. He commented: “I used to buy and recommend Samac’s products, which gives me a unique view when speaking to potential customers. It’s a fantastic company and has a real family atmosphere with everyone helping and supporting each other, so I’m delighted to have joined the team.”

Steve agreed, adding: “It’s refreshing to be working for a company where everyone is extremely proactive and pushing in the same direction. I’m looking forward to growing the area and bringing in new customers.”

Trime complete the acquisition of DOA Srl

TRIME, a company specialising in the design and production of mobile light towers and associated equipment for the construction and event markets, have announced the completion of the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of DOA Srl.

DOA Srl is a well-established company currently active in the marketing of power generation machinery and hydraulic tools. They are based in Novedrate, 30 km north of Milan. The DOA management teams will continue support the company during the integrating phase with Trime in order to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

This latest acquisition is part of Trime’s strategic industrial plan. This programme includes both internal development of the Trime Group whilst pursuing similar opportunities to acquire like-minded companies with complementary product portfolios.

Mr.Andrea Fontanella, President of Trime, who leads the company together with the CEO Mr.Paolo Tacconi said: "We are delighted to welcome DOA to the Trime Group; this acquisition represents a fundamental step in our strategy to grow international markets. From today, customers around the world will be able to benefit from an even broader range of products, in addition to our range of equipment which is currently based around mobile light towers and generators”.

DOA shareholders added, "The transaction with Trime is the natural step for our company to develop a greater range of products and a wider distribution platform especially to the global rental markets".

The Trime Group is headquartered in Cassinetta di Lugagnano, near Milan, Italy. The company manufactures a wide range of sustainable lighting towers for the use on outside events, construction, rail and highway projects. Trime equipment is distributed worldwide through a line of dedicated dealers and distributors.

Bradfords invests in future local tradespeople

BRADFORDS Building Supplies, the oldest builders’ merchants in the UK and number one builders’ merchant in the South West are providing apprentices from award winning  housing association, Aster Group with tool kits to help them kick start their careers.

Seven apprentices visited Bradfords Blandford branch on 5 December to collect their Stanley Babushka toolboxes which are each worth £1000.

Carpentry and plumbing apprentices, Will Green, Liam Gale, Karl Jackson, James Hodge, Tyler Baker, Alex Sanchez, Billy McNeilly joined Aster in the Autumn of 2019 and are part of the Dorset Response East and West teams.

David Cooke, Partnership Director, Bradfords Building Supplies commented: “As an independent and family owned business with 700 staff and 55,000 customers, we take our commitment to the communities where our 42 branches are based very seriously. Working with organisations like Aster helps Bradfords to deliver on its own social value commitments. We hope the tools, provided by Bradfords will help each apprentice at the start of a rewarding career with Aster.”

Neil Shardlow, Aster head of operations, South said, “Our apprenticeship programme is an important part of our ongoing work to support the next generation of skilled trades to ensure our homes are good quality, well maintained and safe. This year we invested a record £52.5 million into repairing and maintaining our homes across the South and South West of England and this group of young people will help us to continue that delivery into the future. It’s great to see Bradfords working with us to support them.”

Bradfords, who are celebrating their 250th anniversary in 2020, have been providing building materials to developer and ethical landlord, Aster Group, since 2016. Bradford’s Partnership Team was formed to provide, innovative, customer focused solutions to Housing Providers and is an important and growing part of Bradfords business model.

Bradfords is committed to apprenticeships and currently has eight apprentices on its award-winning programme. Six apprentices from previous cohorts have entered full time employment with Bradfords.

Pramac-Generac appoints new sales manager

WITH demands for energy increasing and a flourishing construction market in Northern and Southern Ireland, Pramac-Generac UK is growing its customer support into the territory with the appointment of a dedicated sales manager, Gavin Myers.

With over 20 years’ experience working with premium brands including Bosch, Makita and Stihl, Gavin Myers has joined the company to strategically build market share for both the Pramac and Generac portfolios across hire, agriculture, construction, hardware and engineering.

Gavin is focused on driving visibility of the full range of products including portable and industrial power, materials handling and mobile solutions featuring lighting towers, wash racks and dust suppression units, in line with the brands’ global strategy.

The Irish construction market, currently worth €20.8 billion, continues to boom as the government drives and invests in its regional development and infrastructure plans under Project Ireland 2040.

Gavin said: “Ireland is undergoing significant growth and development which presents a prime opportunity for our plant solutions. Having sold to multiple channels in the Irish market, my diverse customer network will be an ideal fit to strategically grow our footprint and help Pramac and Generac develop long term customer relationships in Ireland.”

This latest appointment will ensure that partners and customers can now have access to Pramac and Generac’s robust and hardworking solutions portfolio with direct access to teams and service requirements.

David Oates, managing director at Pramac-Generac UK, said: “We extend a warm welcome to Gavin and we’re very excited about the opportunities this market represents for our full product portfolio.”

Screwfix announces roll out of stores across Ireland

SCREWFIX has officially opened in Ireland with the roll out of its first three stores ahead of Christmas, to support its strong online business

Screwfix Sandyford and Swords have opened in Dublin with a Waterford store set to open this month, with more stores planned for next year. As part of Screwfix’s expansion plans, there is the potential for the business to open up to 40 stores over the coming years, creating over 400 employment opportunities in Ireland. The vacancies will be available in a variety of areas such as retail management, service assistants and supervisor roles.

Each store will stock 10,000 products, from power tools and work wear to heating and electrical with 24,000 products available to order online and over the phone for delivery and collection from store.

With a heritage of over 40 years in the trade and DIY industry, Screwfix are excited to announce plans for bricks and mortar stores in the Irish market to complement its already successful online business.

On the back of a particularly buoyant period in the Construction industry, Screwfix stores will open every day to provide a vast selection of essentials for tradespeople and DIY enthusiasts. The stores will help busy tradespeople get their jobs done quickly and affordably, with a Click & Collect service allowing customers to order and collect stocked goods in as little as one minute. 

Speaking about the brand’s arrival into Ireland, Screwfix CEO, John Mewett, said: “We’re extremely excited to be launching Screwfix stores in Ireland to help tradespeople get their jobs done quickly, affordably and on time. The creation of bricks and mortar stores in Ireland is a major milestone for us and a direct result of the increasing demand from Irish tradespeople for our fantastic range of products.

"Our Irish customers are already committed to our website, but we know the convenience a Screwfix store provides their local town. Screwfix offers fast, high quality customer service and a large product range that allows tradespeople to get what they want, when they need it. We’re excited about the times ahead and look forward to welcoming customers to our new stores.”

Screwfix Ireland is part of Kingfisher plc, the international home improvement company, with over 1,300 stores in 9 countries in Europe, Russia and Turkey. The company plans to invest in the Irish market to ensure that both its trade and public customers alike receive the fast, efficient counter turnaround times and service the company has built its reputation on.


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