Friday, August 14, 2020

Local firm celebrates 130 years of trading

Shepshed-based Foster Industrial is gearing up for a year of ambitious growth in 2016 having made strategic investments in its welding supply business over the last 12 months.

Foster Industrial is the UK’s longest established distributor of welding and cutting equipment and supplies. The family run business employs a team of 20 based on Gelders Hall Road in Shepshed, providing welding and cutting products and technical support to the metal fabrication industry and manufacturers across the East Midlands and beyond.

This year is the 130th anniversary of trading for Foster Industrial and is a significant milestone for owners and brothers Richard and Charles Foster. Great grandsons of the founder, the brothers have been at the helm of the business for almost 30 years, and have been instrumental in increasing the annual turnover of the business to £4.5 million.

The company, which began trading in 1886 as coal merchants, has set its sights on growing the business further through a progressive programme of sales and marketing activity. The past 12 months has already seen the introduction of a number of new initiatives such as an own-brand range, a new fleet of delivery vehicles plus three new members of staff.

Richard Foster, joint managing director at Foster Industrial, said: “We are constantly monitoring the welding industry and looking for ways to add value. For instance, we have invested heavily in our ecommerce capability, integrating our website with all our sales channels whilst improving the customer experience with the addition of one stop checkout and an enhanced search facility.

“We are also expanding our products and services with the continued growth of our own brand range. The range of premium products under the Foster Industrial banner is a significant step towards cementing our place as a leader in the sector.

“But as any enterprising business owner will tell you, we still can’t sit on our laurels. We need to capitalise on these innovations. 2016 is a special year for the business, and one way we can enjoy the success is to keep growing our footprint, particularly here in the East Midlands. Customer service is paramount and if we continue to get that right we will realise our ambitions to boost turnover significantly. I am confident this year will be a buoyant one for the company and our employees will play a huge part in that success.”

As part of its growth strategy, Foster Industrial moved to a 15,000 sq ft distribution centre and industrial gas facility near Loughborough in 2011, positioning itself in the heart of the East Midlands. The company’s product range includes used welding machines as well as supply and support for leading international brands Miller, EWM, Speedglas, Tyrolit & Sia Abrasives.

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