Trade Centre Group

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The Trade Centre Group PLC
Privately held company
IndustryAutomotive
GenreUsed Car Sales
Founded1999
FounderMark Bailey
HeadquartersNeath Abbey Business Park, ,
Number of locations
5
Area served
Key people
  • Mark Bailey (Chairman)
  • Andy Coulthurst (CEO)
  • Andrew Wildy (COO)
  • Tim Carr (CFO)
ProductsUsed cars
Services
Number of employees
700+
ParentBailey Family Investments PLC
Subsidiaries
  • The Trade Centre Wales
  • The Trade Centre UK
  • Can Can Car Finance
Website

The Trade Centre Group is Wales' largest used car sales company[1] and the UK’s fastest growing used car retailer. The company trades as The Trade Centre Wales across the South Wales region at Neath, Merthyr Tydfil and a Cardiff North outlet in Abercynon. The group also operates three of the largest car supermarkets in the UK under the Trade Centre UK brand, two in the West Midlands at Wednesbury and Coventry, with Coventry being the largest used car showroom in Europe[2] and most recently opened an outlet in the North West of England in Rochdale, the groups first outlet based on a retail park[3].

Employing over 700 staff, The Trade Centre Group was founded in 1999 in Neath and is privately owned by Chairman, Mark Bailey and his family.[4]

Operations[edit]

Merthyr Tydfil
Abercynon
Workshop in Neath

In its financial year ending November 2018, the group’s profits before tax was £18.7m up 23% on 2017 (£15.2m) with turnover up 44% to £257 million (from £178.4m).[5]

The retailer holds a top five ranking with leading industry media publishers, ranking fourth in the Automotive Management ID50[6] and fifth in the Motor Trader MT 50 published in November 2018. The Trade Centre Group also ranked at 90 in the 15th annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, following a 44% growth at year end in November 2018.[7] , being the only business in Wales to feature in the top 100.

In September 2015, Andy Coulthurst was appointed as Chief Executive Officer[8] joining the business from Cox Automotive where he grew the Motors.co.uk automotive classifieds business to number 2 in the UK market ahead of its subsequent sale to Ebay Inc.[9]

Sharing the responsibility of managing the business for the Bailey family, Andy Wildy was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2018 and joined the business December 2002.

In 2018, the group further expanded its board of directors, appointing Tim Carr as Chief Financial Officer, Mark Sainsbury as Operations Director and promoting Nathan Bailey to the position Director of Vehicle Purchasing.

The group is recognised as the UK’s most trusted car supermarket, according to consumer review website, TrustPilot and averages over 35,000 car sales per year. [10][11] The Trade Centre Group advertises on TV, Radio, Digital, Outdoor and print. The company is famous for the advertising promise of ‘Probably the UK’s Cheapest Cars’.

The group operates two vehicle preparation and cosmetic centres at Neath in South Wales and Wednesbury in the West Midlands and conducts a 99-point vehicle inspection and rectification process on cars before they are sold. The vehicle workshop in Neath is the biggest in Wales with 32 vehicle ramps.[12]

Locations[edit]

Neath[edit]

Trade Centre Wales’s Neath branch was established in 1999 and is the group’s head office.

In 2016, the company opened new workshops at its site in Neath, investing £2.8 million on facilities, including 32 vehicle ramps and state of the art diagnostic equipment.[13]

Merthyr Tydfil[edit]

In 2011, the company expanded by opening a second site in Merthyr Tydfil. Located in Merthyr Pant Industrial Estate, the outlet is home to the group’s part-exchange outlet.

The Merthyr Tydfil branch is used by the company to sell part-exchanged vehicles from other branches when they are too high a quality to be sold into the trade or at auction and are then made available to the general public.

Abercynon[edit]

In July 2016, the group opened its Abercynon branch, its third and largest dealership in Wales. The outlet is marketed as Cardiff North. The facility is now also where the company’s in-house car finance business, CanCan Car Finance, is based.

The volume of cars sold by the group rose 21.9% to 19,401 units in 2016, an increase driven by the Abercynon site. The Abercynon outlet holds 800 cars, with an indoor showroom capacity of 300 cars.

Wednesbury[edit]

In April 2017 The Trade Centre Wales opened its first Trade Centre UK branch in Darlaston Road, Wednesbury. The superstore in Wednesbury was a pilot site for additional stores in the region.[14]

Formerly a Carcraft superstore, the facility saw a multi-million-pound investment to transform the space over three months.[15]

Coventry[edit]

Following the success of the Wednesbury site, the Trade Centre Group opened Europe’s largest used car showroom[16] in Coventry in January 2018 as part of growth plans outside of Wales. The Coventry outlet is the company’s fifth showroom and accommodates 1,000 cars with 400 housed in the indoor showroom in the former premises of a Leekes furniture store.[17]

Rochdale[edit]

In December 2019, The Trade Centre Group opened a new outlet in Rochdale, the first outlet in the North West of England. The outlet is located in Sandbrook retail park, re-purposing a Homebase store, and is the first outlet to be located in a retail park.

The Rochdale outlet houses 1,000 used cars for sale to the public and is open 7 days a week. Some senior managers from the companies South Wales and West Midlands outlets relocated to Rochdale in an effort to establish the brand in the area.[18] The outlet promotes itself as the largest used car supermarket in the region.

The Trade Centre Group spent £2.3 Million on marketing between December 2019 and January 2020 which included promoting the launch of the Rochdale outlet and received recognition from Rochdale Borough Council for created over 130 jobs in the area, as well as investing in local supply chain and support services.[19]

Community & Charity Initiatives[edit]

Grassroots teams[edit]

The Trade Centre Group works with charitable causes and community partnerships, including sponsorship of grassroots sports teams. In addition to its Kit Klub scheme, the used car supermarket group offer sponsorship opportunities to teams local to its sites. Sponsorship is often used to help support refurbishment costs, purchasing equipment, staff training, and general day-to-day costs associated with running a local team.

The group often renew its sponsorship deals annually and have sponsored teams across five consecutive years. Some of the local clubs to receive sponsorship from The Trade Centre Group include:

  • Trallwm RFC
  • Christ the King FC
  • St Albans RFC
  • Coventry Ice Blaze
  • Gorseinon RFC
  • Nelson Cavaliers
  • Maypole FC
  • Ynystawe JFC
  • Swansea RFC
  • Loughor RFC
  • Darlaston FC
  • Nelson RFC
  • Rhiwbina RFC
  • Coventry Welsh RFC
  • South Gower RFC
  • Ebbw Vale FC
  • Merthyr Saints FC

The group also sponsor many local projects as part of its efforts in the local communities. Organisations that have received support for the group include:

  • Swansea School Market
  • Maggies Swansea
  • Stardreams Musical Theatre Company
  • Henley Primary School
  • Abercynon Primary School
  • Noah’s Ark
  • Cwmlai Primary School
  • Ambitious About Autism
  • NSPCC
  • Merthyr Walkathon

NSPCC - ‘One Unforgettable Day’[edit]

The Trade Centre Group works closely with children’s charity NSPCC. The Trade Centre UK pledged to donate £30,000 each year for the Childline’s ‘One Unforgettable Day’ initiative, which involves a £30 donation per sale for the first 1,000 cars sold[20]. In 2018 the Trade Centre Group selected 4th May as its Unforgettable Day – the day it opened its Coventry site.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Trade Centre Wales sees profits jump 51% to £9.9m". motortrader.com. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Trade Centre UK to open Europe's largest used car showroom in Coventry". www.am-online.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  3. ^ Barry, Sion (7 October 2019). "The UK's fastest growing car supermarket to open first north of England outlet". birminghampost. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  4. ^ "THE TRADE CENTRE GROUP PLC - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  5. ^ "The Trade Centre Group Passes £20m Profit Following Fifth Store Opening". Business News Wales. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  6. ^ "The AM ID50 2019 – the UK's 50 biggest independent dealers". www.am-online.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  7. ^ "The Trade Centre Group reach Top 100 in The Sunday Times Top Track 250". 10 October 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  8. ^ Plc, The Trade Centre Group. "The Trade Centre Wales Appoints Andy Coulthurst CEO". www.thetradecentrewales.co.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  9. ^ "eBay Completes Acquisition of Motors.co.uk". www.ebayinc.com. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  10. ^ "The Trade Centre UK is rated "Excellent" with 4.7 / 5 on Trustpilot". Trustpilot. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  11. ^ "The Trade Centre Wales is rated "Excellent" with 4.7 / 5 on Trustpilot". Trustpilot. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  12. ^ "The Trade Centre Wales | Warranties". www.thetradecentrewales.co.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  13. ^ Plc, The Trade Centre Group. "Updated: We plan to open the largest workshop facility in Wales, creating 60 new jobs". www.thetradecentrewales.co.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  14. ^ "The Trade Centre Wales crosses border with new site". www.am-online.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  15. ^ Thomas, Nicky. "The Trade Centre UK to open first superstore in England on Easter weekend". www.tradecentreuk.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  16. ^ Sandford, Elis (16 March 2018). "Largest used car showroom in Europe is coming to Coventry". coventrytelegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  17. ^ Thomas, Nicky. "Trade Centre UK celebrates one year of trading at Europe's largest used car showroom". www.tradecentreuk.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  18. ^ Thomas, Nicky. "The Trade Centre UK heads North as Expansion Accelerates". www.tradecentreuk.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Rochdale Mayor officially opens The Trade Centre UK at Sandbrook Park". www.rochdaleonline.co.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  20. ^ Plc, The Trade Centre Group. "The Trade Centre Wales announces latest sponsorship for Childline". www.thetradecentrewales.co.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2019.