An interview with Sam & Neil from Toolstop

 6th Nov 2020



Brian Fraser from Nine Twenty Technology caught up with Neil Bruce, E-commerce Manager and Sam Grant, Digital Marketing Manager from Toolstop to chat about how business has been.


Read on to find out a bit more about Sams first six months in the business, how this year has been, and most importantly what the future holds for the business.


Hi Neil, we last did one of these with you in 2017. How have things been since 2017 at Toolstop?

Neil: Well, in 2017 we were a year into our re-platform to Magento 2. We eventually launched our M2 site in August 2018 at a time when revenue was at an all-time high. We really did not get to grips with our new site on the Magento platform and revenue started to falter. The site was not performing anywhere near the levels we were expecting it to. We had big technical issues. We changed the agency we had been working with as well. Ultimately we decided to move away from M2 and decided on Big Commerce as the new platform. We tested the platform with our brand new B2B site Toolsaver. This proved successful and gave us the confidence to move Toolstop onto the Big Com platform. We did that in Feb 2020 and are now seeing the fruits of the labours of the last 3 years. The move to Big Commerce has allowed us to cut ties with agencies as we have moved all s/w dev and digital marketing in-house.


Hi Sam! Can you tell us a little about your background, and how you came to join Toolstop?

Sam: I have a background that sits right in the middle of digital marketing and e-commerce, and over the past few years, I’ve managed to build up a fairly broad set of skills that lend themselves to growing traffic and, in turn, website sales.

I was reached out to through LinkedIn by Brian at Nine Twenty. Brian had, without sounding too cheesy, identified a ‘match made in heaven’ between my experience and what Neil was looking for in a Digital Marketing Manager, so the opportunity was one I was immediately keen to pursue. After interviewing with Neil and learning about all the exciting plans he had for Toolstop’s ecommerce journey and our B2B website, Tool-Saver too, I was even more determined to get involved. Luckily, Neil liked what I could bring to the table, so I joined the team in mid-March 2020.


How are you settling into life at Toolstop?

Sam: I’m not saying this because I have to – I’m thoroughly enjoying it. We have an experienced, versatile, growing team, and that puts us in a great spot to take on the day-to-day challenge.

Neil and Senior Management Team have a really refreshing approach to new projects and are constantly aiming to improve and expand upon what we do.


Can you tell us what you are working on at the moment?

Neil + Sam: Right now we are working on a number of different projects for both Toolstop and Toolsaver as well as a few supporting projects. On Toolstop we are working on a new Promos Engine which will allow us to better manage all promotional deals. On Toolsaver we’ve just developed a poster builder solution that allows merchants to create in-store posters that feed on their website. On top of that, we are further developing our PIM system and building our own Warehouse Management System. We have also just acquired a business equipment company and we’ll further develop their B2B website. As well as that we have launched our own digital agency, so there’s a lot happening.

How has the business reacted to the COVID-19 outbreak?

Neil + Sam: A bit mixed. Toolstop did really well over the lockdown due to people being stuck at home and not spending money so they could afford to buy tools to complete tasks around their houses and gardens. Toolsaver was a bit different as many of the customers it was supplying were closed. It has also forced us to look at other ways of growing the business so as said above, we are looking at acquisitions as well as trying to grow our digital agency.


What does the next 12 months look like for Toolstop?

Neil + Sam:In the next 12 months, we will concentrate on the business equipment side of the company as well as grow our digital agency. We will further develop our Toolstop and Toolsaver companies and will be building support systems such as our PIM and our WMS.


What sort of people are you looking for to join your team in the future?

Neil + Sam: We will continue to look for top-class sales staff. At the moment we have 9 sales staff around the UK but only as far down as the Midlands. We would look to expand further south. We will also look to build our software dev and digital marketing teams.


What do you like to do when you're not at the office?

Neil: I play golf as often as possible, I enjoy time with my wife and grown-up kids as well. There’s nothing better than a Saturday spent on the golf course in the morning followed by a day in town with the family for a nice meal and a few drinks.

Sam: Myself and my partner bought our first home last year, so there’s lots of DIY going on (pretty good time to be working for a tool company)! I play golf too, a lot of football, and I surf and snowboard whenever there’s a chance to. We love to travel, see new cultures, and visit family in Canada when we can (when there’s not a global pandemic going on).



If you are interested in Toolstop Limited and with what they have instore, then get in touch with Brian from Nine Twenty Technology for a confidential chat.


Brian Fraser

Senior Account Manager

Tel:    +44 (0) 141 231 1260

Mobile: +44 (0) 7503 626 649



Toolstop Website:



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