TRICO has strengthened its distribution across the UK and Ireland, with agreements made within the last 12-months with both Optimal UK and Excel Automotive Group (EAG).
The announcement follows the closure of its Pontypool facility late last year.
TRICO’s senior brand and product manager, Sam Robinson, said: “Understandably, the announcement provoked plenty of reaction from those on the outside and sparked a number of questions about availability, delivery, quality and, in general, the future of the business in the UK.
“While it’s true that we closed our manufacturing and distribution centre in Wales, which, regretfully, meant the loss of long-serving and hard-working staff, we still have sales, finance, marketing and administration departments open for business here in the UK.
“There was a smooth transfer to our Belgian distribution site and it was fully-operational very quickly.
“As of today, we have more than 1,200 stock-keeping units and in excess of one-and-a-half million units in stock, with delivery-to-door in the UK within three working days.”
Optimal UK, based in the West Midlands, supplies TRICO’s Exact Fit, Flex, Neoform and TX wiper blade ranges, whereas Leeds-based EAG stocks the entire Champion wiper blade programme.
An enviable brand steeped in history, TRICO acquired the Champion wiper blade division in 2019.
Those deals, as well as existing agreements with A1 Motor Stores, IFA buying group and Autoparts UK, put TRICO in a far stronger position than perhaps many outside of the business feared.
Sam said: “The aim, when the decision was made, was to turn TRICO into a sleeker and more efficient business and early signs are encouraging; for example, we are currently working on an IT integration with our Airtex (also part of the TRICO Group) customer service centre to merge order processing systems, which will result in a more efficient ordering experience for our customers.
“We have been in regular dialogue with our customer base, updating them on developments as they happen, which has eased the situation and resolved any confusion.
“All of our distributors have been understanding in their approach to both TRICO and Champion through these changes, and we are confident that business will continue to grow throughout the UK in the long-term – but, of course, we have to take the current Covid-19 pandemic into account.”
Coronavirus is currently gripping the world’s attention, causing many workshops and motor factors across the UK and Ireland to temporarily close, but, while the majority of staff are working remotely, TRICO remains operational and its warehouse staff are processing and shipping orders, of which there are still plenty.
Sam added: “Everyone at TRICO wishes all of its customers and their respective families good health during this unprecedented period.”
TRICO has recently rejuvenated its Flex range, which is already receiving excellent feedback from customers, and is eagerly anticipating Automechanika Frankfurt in September when it will showcase the exclusive technology behind the wiper blade’s reinvention.
It will be the first time the TRICO Group exhibits at the flagship event, showcasing all TRICO, Airtex and Champion wiper blade brands on a joint stand.
In addition, there are more product and packaging launches in the pipeline, details of which will be revealed in Germany. Motorsport continues to play a significant part in TRICO’s portfolio as well, and announcements of its involvement in 2020/2021 will be made in due course, when it is appropriate to do so.
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