Discount Tools, situated in the ‘West End’ part of Cheltenham, was set up by Ron Minett thirty years ago this October after being inspired by his father’s own entrepreneur skills; “I watched Dad and helped him out as I grew up so it seemed only natural to follow in his footsteps. I left school and was working in the carpet trade however the company I was working for went bust. I did a brief period working for my father but then decided to go it alone”.
It seems this passion for business runs in the family, as Ron’s brother Tony also set up his own shop just eight doors down from Ron at World of Guitars. “My brother’s my best mate so we look after each other and talk about how we’re getting on. My dad is a bit older now so it’s him running errands for us!”
“It’s certainly been an adventure over the last thirty years; especially at the moment because the building and construction trade is so quiet – in the last couple of years especially as there aren’t really any new sites going on”.
“We sell tools for all trades, and over the years we’ve diversified a bit to do hardware. Believe it or not, one of our most popular lines is our black refuge bags! They’re the best quality in Cheltenham and sell for just 50p a pack which is why we get people from all over Gloucestershire coming to buy them. We’ve also got 100w light bulbs which were phased out in September 2009, but we were lucky enough to get our hands on a few thousand which have nearly all gone now!”
“We’re a member of ToolBank, which gives us access to 25,000 different products by 200 leading brands. We can get next day delivery on anything from this catalogue, so if there’s something a customer needs which we don’t already have in the shop, we can get it in for them very quickly”.
The store has also just begun to stock work wear from the Dickies range, providing everything from trousers, shoes, overalls and safety work wear. The store is deceptively small but just about every shelf is packed with every practical object you could possibly ever need!
“I’ve had customers who have been with me since they were fresh out of school and had just joined the building trade and now they’re bringing their sons in. We have loyal customers and they all tell their friends which is how we get most of our business. Word-of-mouth is just as, if not more, effective as printed advertising in the building trade”
This month marks thirty years since Ron opened the business which he is obviously very excited about; “I’ll have some special offers and discounts to celebrate the birthday although I’m not going to reveal them just yet – customers should come down and see for themselves...” You heard the man! And if you’re coming down in your car or van, there is special customer parking around the back of the store.
For enquiries call 01242 515944.