Award-winning electrical wholesale distributor, Rapid Electrical, has quadrupled the size of its business in Watford with the launch of a new distribution centre at the Trade City industrial park, which coincides with the company’s 15th anniversary. PEW took a trip to the new centre to find out more.
Established in Colnbrook in 2004 by St Albans-based entrepreneur, Nick Edwell, (pictured right), Rapid Electrical expanded into Watford in 2015 following the acquisition of a trade supply business in Croxley Business Park. Since then, the company has taken on additional staff and almost doubled its turnover, prompting the move to bigger premises.
Having secured the first lease on a 5,000 square-foot unit at Watford’s newest business development during January, Rapid Electrical has since constructed a mezzanine floor and trade counter within the warehouse, as well as fitting-out the office space for up to 10 staff.
As well as supplying some of the largest infrastructure projects in the south east, including Crossrail, Rapid Electrical has also built a growing customer base amongst local electrical contractors and builders’ merchants.
Commenting on the expansion of his business, Nick Edwell, Managing Director of Rapid Electrical, says: “Thanks to its connections and thriving diversity of commercial construction projects, Watford is an excellent strategic location for Rapid Electrical and we are delighted to have secured one of the newest industrial units in the region.
Being at Trade City will provide an ideal opportunity for us to support local trades and large infrastructure projects alike. Our membership of major international electrical buying group, Fegime, ensures that we offer a highly-competitive service, delivered by a very experienced and friendly team.”
Situated on a new road developed to offer a quicker route to west Watford, the new road has given birth to a number of businesses moving into the area. There are ongoing plans for new developments right on the doorstep of Rapid Electrical.
Nick is certainly aware of the target market, a market that moves away from industrial side that the Colnbrook site is used to, he says: “We are at the beginning of what is hopefully going to be a big growth, with any luck. Although it takes a while for people to figure out what you are about, and we are not as well-known as the nationals, but we are looking to target the domestics and the housing in Watford.”
Part of bringing in this new type of customer has included investment in marketing, with local radio station ads that Nick hopes will bear fruit. Other ways of getting customers through the door includes holding a calibration day for electricians and contractors.
In a crowded market and crowded local area, Nick says that the same day and next day delivery that is available could also help them separate themselves from competition and bring in the customers.
Visiting Rapid Electrical’s new centre in June, Member of Parliament for Watford, Richard Harrington, was impressed by what he saw: “Supporting a number of major projects in and around the capital, as well as serving the local building trade in Watford, Rapid Electrical is clearly a highly regarded trade distributor.
It’s extremely encouraging to see how the business is developing and their significant investment in our town is indicative of the growth potential.”