Didcot’s newest independent plumbing supplies store opens its bathroom showroom


Didcot’s newest independent plumbing, heating, and bathroom store open its bathroom showroom.
County Plumbing Supplies in Didcot has opened a bathroom showroom.

County Plumbing Supplies in Didcot has opened a bathroom showroom. The showroom is open to the trade and the public and builds on the success and growth they have experienced in the first 10 months of trading.

The business opened its doors in late February 2022 with the aim to be a one-stop shop for local tradespeople, giving them easy access to plumbing, heating, and bathroom supplies.

The store already has a strong product offering, and the business has experienced growth month on month since opening – stocking the best brands at great prices.

What’s more, the team at County Plumbing Supplies boast over 115 years of industry expertise between the four of them. Nick, Graham, Richard, and Anthony have all previously worked together and understand what an independent merchant needs to offer.

County Plumbing Supplies team
County Plumbing Supplies team

Nick Wheatley, the owner, said: “customers not only want a great price, but they also want good, unbiased advice, and therefore the ability to offer exceptional customer service is key.” He added, “you should always be honest to your customers to ensure their expectations are met.”

The premises boasts over 8,000 sq ft of warehouse and storage space and, importantly, ample parking space for customers’ vans and cars. The shop design has a modern and fresh feel with an element of the ‘wow factor’.

With such large premises, a bathroom showroom was always part of the plan when first opening. Nick and his team were keen to select the right product ranges which could cater for all budgets and continue the modern look and feel that had already been created at their trade counter, which the team feels they have successfully achieved. The bathroom showroom opened in December.

There is a dedicated Showroom Manager who, like the rest of the team, has a wealth of experience in the bathroom industry. He can guide their customers through their purchasing journey, whether the project is large or small. County Plumbing Supplies’ aim is to enhance the experience of their customers and take the stress away from purchasing.

Having been in the industry since 1985, Nick Wheatley, the owner, worked for several independent merchants before founding his own business ‘UK Plumbing Supplies’ in 2005. He retired in 2018 but was encouraged by previous customers to return.

Reflecting on what brought him back to the industry, Nick said: “The people – our customers. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to serve the local community. We care about our customers, and we enjoy being able to meet their needs and help them to solve any problems.”

Graham Bustin has a lot of management experience in the industry and was a Branch Manager at Oxford Plumbing Supplies (part of UK Plumbing Supplies) when he met Nick. Graham jumped at the opportunity to join Nick as a director and shareholder at County Plumbing Supplies, as he shares Nick’s sentiments of having a customer-first mindset.

Graham said:” Every time a business makes a decision, it should think about how such a decision might affect its customers. Putting your customer first is not a one-off action. It’s imperative that your whole team is knowledgeable and has the right information to hand. It’s the whole attitude of a business that fosters a positive customer experience.”

Routes to market have changed over the years – with the introduction of digital channels, and Nick and his team understand the need to engage with websites and social media, especially amongst their younger customers who prefer to communicate this way.

County Plumbing supplies are a member of The IPG and proudly promotes this fact on their new signage. The IPG is a membership group that commits to providing business and marketing support to local independent plumbing and heating stores and bathroom showrooms.

It has the expertise to support Nick’s team with its purchasing power and all digital aspects, including a website, social media content, and an in-store digital screen.

Glenn Fisher, The IPG’s Managing Director, said: “We are committed to encouraging communities to support their local IPG member store, where alongside unrivalled service and unbiased honest advice, a customer is likely to find that their shopping basket is cheaper.”

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