Plumb Parts

by Redactive Media Group Client: Plumb Center and Parts Center
The Brief

Plumb Center and Parts Center (part of Wolseley UK) are the UK’s number one distributor of heating and plumbing products with 500 branches throughout the UK. Prior to Redactive’s involvement, there was a confusing overload of POS graphics which cluttered the 500 branches. Plumb Center and Parts Center wanted to dramatically reduce the volume of collateral and streamline the brand with the aim of engaging with customers for longer and building brand loyalty. With 45,000 products and hundreds of suppliers, as well as services and courses including a Sustainability Centre currently unknown to customers, this was no easy task.

The Challenge
  • Communicate with the 45,000+ over the counter trade customers
  • Engage with customers and build loyalty
  • Promote best practice and educate customers and branch staff
  • Position Plumb Center and Parts Center as being more than simply a place to purchase products but as an industry authority which is reliable and knowledgeable.
  • Give manufacturers the chance to communicate more detailed messages about new products to customers than other marketing channels allow
  • Increase product sales, and promote and sell training courses.
  • Reduce POS marketing collateral in branch
  • Capture data and generate leads
  • Generate third party advertising revenues to subsidise content and distribution ensuring budgeted investment is not exceeded
Creative Approach

Working in partnership we launched a free magazine to keep customers up to date with sector news, practical advice, case studies and the latest offers from Plumb Center and Parts Center.

Plumb Parts began as a free quarterly magazine and has developed into a multimedia brand which keeps customers up-to-date with industry news, practical advice, customer case studies and the latest offers.

Designed to fit into a plumber’s glove box and look different to other industry magazines, we used a visual approach to break up content, extract key messages and enable readers to dip in and out between jobs.

To ensure that the publication both engages through relevant content, and works as a means of reducing POS collateral, a 2:1 ratio of editorial to advertising was implemented.

Accessibility of the magazine brand was naturally important; we extended across platforms in order to maximise the content’s reach.

Plumb Parts is now available online via the microsite:, and as a tablet edition which contains over 470 pages of animated content.

A quarterly e-newsletter is sent to 22,215 people, 5,134 of which have signed up as a result of reading the print edition.

The Results

Within four issues Plumb Parts grew from 36 pages to 68 pages due to the positive response from customers, suppliers and the client. Providing the perfect platform to house a variety of content the magazine has reduced the reliance on other POS displays in branch.

Redactive readership research has shown that the magazine is read for an average of 24 minutes and has a readership of 100,000 (an average of 2 readers per copy).

We asked how strongly do readers agree or disagree with these statements about the Plumb Parts magazine brand?

  • 89% strongly agree/agree it contains invaluable information that helps them do their job
  • 94% strongly agree/agree it is attractively designed
  • 95% strongly agree/agree it helps them stay up to date with developments in the industry
  • 73% strongly agree/agree it is an authoritative voice in the industry

“Plumb Parts brand has been a revelation, the print magazine has helped us dramatically reduce our POS clutter in branch, it truly engages with our customers and branch staff alike, it also provides a multi-channel platform for our suppliers to promote the USPs of their products.”
– Julie McLean, Head of Marketing, Plumb Center and Parts Center

“I’m constantly out and about on jobs but you’ll always find a copy of Plumb Parts in the van. I just like the way it offers real advice for real people, not just about products but different ways I can improve my business – which you don’t expect for a supplier merchant”
– Dave McGough, Owner and Managing Director, DJ McGough Ltd

“We’re always looking to get the right messages across to installers, and Plumb Parts gives us a great platform from which we can do that. The publication supplies up-to-date stories that are interesting to everyone in the industry, so we know people are reading information which is relevant and useful.”
– Martyn Bridges, Director of Marketing & Technical Support at Worcester, Bosch Group