Ableworld, a mobility retailer franchise, has recently celebrated 10 years of trading. In the last 10 years the company has grown from a single store in Cheshire to one of the UK’s largest retailers of products and services for the elderly and disabled through its combination of franchised and company-owned stores.
Mike Williams, founder of Ableworld, said: “When we started Ableworld we wanted to create a company that offered quality goods at value-for-money-prices. Before we started in 2001 customers who needed these products were faced with little choice and over-priced goods which were often sold in a less-then-professional way. Now 10 years later, I believe from what our customers tell us that when they visit our stores they do have choice, the prices are affordable and they are dealt with a respectful non-pushy way by knowledgeable and friendly staff.”
According to Ableworld’s HR and Franchise Director, Paul Boniface, one of the reasons the company has been so successful is the commitment head office has in training and supporting staff. He said: “Over the last 18 months I have had the pleasure of meeting everyone who works for Ablewold. Without exception they are all very well qualified individuals who have a genuine desire to help make other people’s lives better. We have built on these key natural strengths by investing heavily in training and are proud to be members of several trade bodies like the highly respected CED (Community Equipment Dispensers supported by NAEP and the BHTA). As a company we have a deep aversion to high pressure selling techniques and have our own strict code of conduct, which ensures that our sales are made ethically. So when you go into our stores you are greeted with well-intentioned, knowledgeable people whose primary job is to find exactly the right product for you.”
Over the next few years Boniface states that the company is planning to carry on its expansion across the UK: “Our five year plan is to continue to grow the business via a combination of own stores and franchise outlets. Our aim is to grow steadily and carefully, always being aware that our first job is to look after our customers. By opening one or two company stores a year and by pressing ahead with our franchise operation we see a network of between 40 and 50 stores in five years.”
Published: 25 May 2011
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