The Fascia Place 25th Year Anniversary – A look back

From its humble beginnings in a little 1500sq foot unit in Craven Court, Camberley, The Fascia Place Ltd is proud to be celebrating its 25th Year birthday today. Operating across 14 specialist trade counters, 2 central distribution centres, 2 window and door factories and with a Southern based commercial installation business, the Group continues to adapt to ever-changing market conditions, delivering big business benefits with family focused, independent thinking to assist all its clients.

Deciding that better control of supply chain would improve customer service, contracting business RC Grant & Sons capitalised on a gap in the market and in 1997 expanded its operation from contracting, into merchanting. Leaning on the experience of industry contacts the business started trading with a warehouse full of £50,000 of PVC roofline stock and a team of 5, ready to take on the fledgling plastic fascia, soffit, and gutter industry. 25 years on the business is an independent leader, recruiting more than 140 staff, supporting over 3,000 customers, with a stock holding, in excess of £2m.

Starting with only 1 customer, its own contracting business, The Fascia Place’s now sole owner, Jon Preece, was tasked with trying to tempt a growing customer base away from the corporate owned nationals. Armed with a fistful of flyers and a determination to make a success of the new counter business Jon would make the most of every opportunity. Every skip, cement mixer, window and roofers van would soon come to know the name, “The Fascia Place Ltd”. Proudly there are still many of those earlier customers, still customers to this day.

In those early days, and like so many before them, TFP experienced cash problems. However, rather than let suppliers and staff down, both owners decided to focus on being shop keepers rather than contractors and were determined to keep good on its promises to pay its company loans. Understanding what was important for installers TFP made sure it was open every morning at 7am and serviced its customers with the same ethics it has to this day. Within 2 years the debts were paid off and the business started to make profit. Using this capital and determined to improve its buying power, The Fascia Place ltd started its journey of growth and its second store in Bridgwater was opened.

Maintaining its own growth trajectory, contracting business RCG also started to branch out into different Southern regions. Where RCG contracted The Fascia Place trade counter business would follow. Trade counters in Ashford, Middlesex, and Guildford would follow in quick succession. As the market started maturing and the rents increased for commercial units in the South the owners realised that the business could not be sustained without diversifying into different markets. In the early 00’s, low maintenance roofline stockists were faced with a choice. Go inside the property and stock plumbing products or remain outside of the property and expand into roofing, windows, and doors. The business took the route of the latter and when its 9th depot in Brighton was acquired 2 stand-out individuals, still with the business today brought their knowledge of windows and doors, and electronically ordering systems, to the Group.

In 2014 the business had another crossroads to navigate, the amicable split of the 2 founding partners. Making the transition from a small counter business to a 21st century merchant the business had to adapt. Adopting the electronic ordering systems introduced by Brighton, and moving away from faxes and carbon triplicate packs the company had to embrace IT. And so, the introduction of emails, social media, structured process, human resources, and health & safety policies started to allow the business to evolve from a small counter business to a 21st century merchant. With an appetite for different things Jon Preece became the sole owner of The Fascia Place Group of companies on August 11th, 2014.

The last 8 1/2 years have been the most exciting and the most transforming for the group. Led by the entrepreneurial spirit and energetic drive not only of the owner but by all the staff the business has embraced change at every level. It has never lost its desire to be the best in its field and strives to deliver its customers a stress free and enjoyable experience. The team sincerely believes that the best years are still to come and whilst our 25th year will be one of the most challenging for our industry. The choices and business decisions taken over the last few years will help the Group deliver the very best for the environment for staff and allow them to continue their focus on their customers.