In a profile in the Irish paper the Sunday Independent, Patrick Atkinson, CEO of Chadwicks, explains his plans to reshape the business.
Having joined Chadwicks, owned by Grafton, in 2015 as COO, Atkinson became CEO two years later when his predecessor retired. He has since embarked the company on a modernisation journey.
He has streamlined the IT system of the company and developed it online presence. Now he is launching a €5 million rebranding exercise that will include further technological upgrades and the refurbishment of the branches. An attempt to streamline operations and simplify the customers’ experience.
In the process the company will absorb Heiton Buckley, another builders’ merchant part of the Grafton group.
Chadwicks also plans to open more specialists centres near or as part of its existing premises, as a way to remain competitive. This is also an attempt to fight a general slowdown for the industry that is caused by Brexit uncertainties and a sluggish housing building sector in Ireland.
Atkinson admits that, in advance of the various Brexit deadlines, the company has stockpiled "several millions of euro" worth of products that were deemed “critical”.
"What we have done the last two times for Brexit is to put the correct products into our supply chain to ensure we have enough product for our customers," he said.
"We've done it a couple of times now, we've gotten better at it, but we don't want to do it again."
In the longer term, Atkinson wants to position Chadwicks for what he sees as the next big opportunity.
"Sustainability is going to be the biggest gig in town," he says. "We will be accentuating that offer, so more insulation, heat pumps and heat tanks."