2018 has been a significant year for our electrical wholesale business. Since the introduction of the new shareholders Ged O’Mahoney, Guy Siddall and Adam Taylor in 2017 the business has gone from strength to strength. Whilst the focus in 2017 was to improve the overall success and service of the existing business, the focus for 2018 was to develop and grow the business to extend our service to a wider range of customers across the North West. Starting the year with our original electrical wholesale branch based in Blackpool and ending the year with 4 successful Go Electrical branches, it has been an extremely busy and productive 12 months for the company.
The Go Electrical expansion began in May 2018 when we secured our second branch location in Garstang; renovation began straight away and the new branch opened officially in July 2018. Although the smallest branch of Go Electrical, the branch tied in perfectly with the 2018 company plans for supplying Preston and surrounding areas with all their electrical wholesale needs. Through local connections and the knowledge that there was no existing electrical wholesale business within the area, we took advantage of the demand for business and our Garstang branch now has a large network of customers and the Go Electrical brand is recognised in and around in the local area for providing a reliable and trustworthy electrical wholesale distribution and decorative lighting service to the area.
Following the successful launch of the Garstang branch, Go Electrical began to put plans in place to extend our service to a new district and secured a third branch location in Bowness-on Windermere. Although a huge risk setting up in a new area with limited connections in the area, as a business we felt that the service we provide would be appreciated in the area, so following the recruitment and training of a new team of staff for the branch, Go Electrical Windermere opened its doors to the trade and public early in October. Since opening the branch the team have worked tirelessly to generate new business and raise brand awareness in an around the area and have made a great impression in the area, impressing the locals with our access to a huge range of products at competitive prices and a fantastic service from a team of motivated and dedicated staff.
Go Electrical then went on to secure our biggest branch to date and we began work on renovating the new branch based in the city of Preston. Following a huge renovation project, Go Electrical Preston launched in October 2018. Managed by local company shareholder, Adam Taylor, the branch has been a huge success. Due to the size of the branch we are able to hold high stock levels, making products even more accessible to our customers and the general public. The branch is managed by a team of experienced staff who make it their priority to ensure that customers receive an outstanding service and the new branch has made significant improvements to the way in which the company operates as a whole.
Since the launch of the three new branches we have continued to pride ourselves on the service which we provide to every single customer and customer service remains our main emphasis. The business was built on service when it started out in 1978 and we continue to make this our priority throughout our new branch launches. The expansion has provided us with the capacity to stock more products and reach a wider range of customers ensuring more customers receive a reliable electrical wholesale distribution service from us.
Throughout 2018 we have introduced new staff members to the company to assist with meeting increased customer demands and to guarantee the day to day running of the business is a success as we continue to grow. Helpful and friendly staff are paramount within this industry and we recognise that staff knowledge is key for our customers, therefore we have further developed our existing in-house training program for all staff to ensure that our staff are confident in providing product knowledge and advise and our customers are continuously satisfied.
Although the company expansion and our company endeavors to continuously improve the service in which we provide to our customers has been our main focus for 2018, we have also taken time this year to ensure that as a company we are giving something back to both the community and the electrical industry. This year Go Electrical introduced a new partnership with Blackpool & The Fylde College to provide opportunities for electrical installation students. The partnership enables electrical installation to gain first-hand experience within our branches to help them further develop throughout their studies.
We became aware of the challenges that Blackpool & The Fylde College were having trying to secure work placements for their electrical installations students. As an electrical wholesale business, we know the importance of product knowledge within the industry and believed that creating a partnership program whereby the students could gain work experience within our business would benefit the students. The partnership program we have created with the college offers a platform for the students to gain hands on experience working with industry products and professionals and helps them acquire further insight into the industry, which will assist them throughout their studies and their electrical career once they qualify. The partnership also provides a fantastic opportunity for the students to network direct with our customers and assists them in securing apprenticeships with local electricians.
Overall 2018 has been a successful year for Go Electrical. We have continued to manage and improve communications with customers through our marketing efforts and a new system. We continue to keep our customers up to date with the latest company developments, changes and upcoming events, along with providing opportunities to enter competitions to win prizes and make contact with us without having to call into the branch or pick up the phone through our marketing platform, which we feel is paramount for the business.