TRADE CENTRE WALES (NEATH)

Origins

The founder and chairman Mark Bailey was driven to open this business with the ambition to create the biggest and best car retailer in South Wales. Whilst this has been more than achieved some time ago, the business still continues to grow with pre-tax profit in 2016 forecast to almost double to £12.5m. Another major motivation of was to be a supporter of the communities in which the firm operates, whether it is a local football or rugby club, adults or children requiring a new kit, sponsoring an air show, a beach festival or raising six figure sums for the NSPCC Cymru/Wales, then The Trade Centre Wales will be right there in support.

Our main challenges when starting the business

In the first three years of trading, the business faced typical problems such as funding to support relocation of the business as it outgrew due to early success. The business is still rated as a 5 Star business by its customers on TrustPilot and is proud of its 8.9/10 rating and glowing reviews.

Success Factor

It would have been easy for the founder to remain in the comfort zone of being just another car retailer, maybe taking on a couple of car franchises and not risking investing millions of pounds in marketing to make The Trade Centre Wales a household name. The business has massively benefited from a leader that continually ‘thinks outside the box’ and has created a car retail concept like no other. It has many innovations within the business that are unique within the industry such as the online car finance company CanCan Car Finance. Without doubt, one of the key factors in the success is the reputation of the business, one third of sales each week are from repeat customers, returning to The Trade Centre Wales for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th car. These loyal customers are joined each week by large numbers of new customers that have heard of the great value and customer service at The Trade Centre Wales, either from friends, family or by reading the glowing reviews posted each day by customers on TrustPilot. Finally, people really make this business, and a fantastic and rewarding working environment is created for the team and in return they work hard to ensure each day is a success. Trade Centre Wales has a very loyal team with very low staff turnover and the HR function and training academy works hard to keep the team at the top of their game whilst supporting and motivating them along the way.

The Future

Its regional ‘hub and spoke’ plan completes in 2017 with the opening of a fourth site in South Wales, all fed from the Neath hub with retailed prepared cars, financial services and training. The completion of the South Wales region will establish the business within the top 10 UK Motor Retail groups on profitability with an EBITDA of £20m.The plan is then to replicate this model within other regions in the UK, stepping over the bridge to the South West England or the Midlands. In September 2015, a new CEO was recruited to help lead the growth of the business as Mark could see the considerable change that would be required as planned to double and then quadruple the business in the next couple of years.