Outside the new Gasbits store.
The Gore Road branch will initially employ four consultants from the local area, and Gasbits intends to recruit further employees once the store is established.
Co-founder Ross Pavey said: “Once we had made the decision to open a second location, New Milton was the obvious choice. It serves the kind of expert local businesses that make the most of our in-store consultancy. Advice and expert knowledge is everything in this industry, and we are a truly independent merchant offering local customers the best impartial advice.”
Gasbits launched in 2005 after Steve Ware, a plumbing and heating engineer, became tired of the bad service he was experiencing with merchants. He teamed up with Mr Pavey, who he met while working for a national supermarket chain.
Mr Ware’s proposition was to create a merchant company that not only had a great location but truly interactive customer service, with which business that was carried out online or over the phone could not compete. Mr Ware and Mr Pavey both invested their own money in the idea, and Gasbits began by selling boiler spares from a small trade counter in Bournemouth.
Over a decade later, Gasbits now employs 15 staff. The new store on Gore Road in New Milton also marks its second bathroom showroom launch, under the moniker The Bathworks.
Karen Coller, a Gasbits associate, will be based at New Milton and appreciates the company's commitment to staying local and independent: “I worked for a national plumbing business for 10 years and haven’t looked back since I left to join Gasbits. I’d much rather make money for two guys that work really hard and treat their staff and customers right than a national where you are seen as a number.”
Gasbits joined The IPG, a membership group for plumbing, heating and bathroom specialists, in June 2017, which Mr Pavey says has opened up new business opportunities: “We have definitely benefited from being part of The IPG, as we have access to better deals with suppliers and contacts that go beyond our own networks. The support they give to independent businesses in our sector has made a positive difference.”