Screwfix scores high marks by going local

Challenge: Screwfix is a leading UK supplier of tools and hardware, selling millions of products to building professionals and DIY enthusiasts every year. It has a network of more than 150 branches and customers can also shop over the phone or online. Screwfix asked MediaVest to boost sales in branches in specific UK regions and The Newspaper Society commissioned research firm Turquoise Thinking to measure the effectiveness of the campaign's press ads in Barnstaple's North Devon Gazette.

Screwfix: local press campaign paid dividends
Screwfix: local press campaign paid dividends

Rob Nicol

MediaVest aimed to persuade existing customers to shop more frequently in their local branch and to attract new customers by making Screwfix a credible alternative to independent retailers. Consumers can sometimes be wary of national brands, but by placing the campaign in the highly trusted medium of local press, MediaVest hoped readers would trust the Screwfix brand by association. The online element of the campaign was designed to reinforce this trust and add reach.

The campaign ran over three months in the highly valued sports and classified sections of the North Devon Gazette and its website, since tradespeople seek information about retailers in these areas. The campaign also included sponsorship of the newspaper's sports pages and association with editorial initiatives such as Sportsperson of the Month, which enabled Screwfix to reach local communities.

According to Screwfix sales data, the company's Barnstaple store experienced a 5% increase in new weekly customers and an 8% rise in total weekly customers after the ads ran in the North Devon Gazette. These results indicate that more new customers are shopping at the store and existing customers are shopping more regularly. In addition, qualitative research showed the sports positioning resonated with supporters of local football teams and generated goodwill for Screwfix.

Rob Nicol, Associate director, strategy and management, MediaVest

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