By August 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

From zero to hero – the incredible rise of YESSS Electrical

YESSS branding

You could be forgiven if you’d never heard the name YESSS Electrical before now. The brand’s rise has been nothing less than meteoric, going from 1 to 85 branches in just 18 months, employing 800 people and, most recently, being named as Electrical Wholesaler of the Year. Electrical Wholesaler talks to Director, Andy Singleton, about building a brand during a recession and how YESSS plans to turn the concept of electrical wholesaling on its head.


A visit to the YESSS head offices in Wakefield is certainly an eye opener. Everything about the brand is different, from the sleek black livery of its delivery vehicles to its showroom style branches.

“That’s deliberate, says Andy, “there are already traditional electrical wholesalers out there who have a solid business. We knew that to succeed we had to mark ourselves apart from the outset. The vision was to create a retail experience which would offer as much to a professional electrician as it would to a busy mum doing some DIY.”

Andy is very much aware of the industry’s traditional and perhaps rather male centric reputation and was keen that YESSS would offer something different. “Our branches are clean, modern and well designed. We’ve gone to great lengths to employ branch managers and sales staff who combine exceptional product knowledge with approachability, so consumers and tradespeople receive the same welcome.”

And it’s quite a welcome, from the high tech drinks machines offering free tea and coffee to customers, to the free wifi and complimentary breakfasts that visitors can take advantage of. It is fair to say, that in the contemporary design of the 85 brightly lit stores and the warm welcome of its sales staff, it’s clear that YESSS is hell bent on breaking the mould.

Entirely unknown in the UK two years ago, YESSS has grown to become the UK’s fourth largest electrical wholesaler – opening its first branch in 2012 and its 85th last month. In its first 12 months, the company achieved a turnover of £100 million boasting 14,000 customers and a number of national accounts.


The YESSS story began when Adam and Ashley Mackie decided to set up a new dynamic and forward thinking company. Drawing on a combined four decades of experience at the top, they set about transforming the electrical wholesale industry by focussing on what YESSS stands for – Your Electrical Supplies, Service and Solutions.

With 400 branches already in Europe, the brothers were keen to conquer the UK market and harnessed their already impressive buying power to do just that. In the UK, YESSS’s national distribution centre in Normanton, West Yorkshire, holds more than 10,000 different products, from the simple to the highly specialised. Purchasing in bulk has also allowed the company to pass on significant savings to its customers.

Andy, former General Manager of City Electrical Factors (CEF), has an impressive knowledge of the market and has used that to shape YESSS’s offering. He says: “Customers want reliable, well-made products that are keenly priced and easily available. Our buying and stock holding power means that we have high on-shelf availability and we can organise deliveries across multiple sites on the same day or next day.”

YESSS company policy is to only source stock from suppliers who meet industry standards and regulations, and Andy says that in the past they’ve sent out a ‘strong message’ to those who have been tempted to cut corners. The company also benefits from having Doncaster Cables, one of the largest UK manufacturers of quality BASEC approved cables, as part of its group of companies.

This approach is supported by a strong e-commerce strategy, an easy to navigate website which features a price competitive daily deal and click and collect service. Says Andy: “We’ve tried to put more emphasis on relationships and less on transactions, but we’d be mad not to have an online offering. Today’s e-commerce platforms enable companies to improve service, grow the business, and reduce costs. Having an online offering makes it easier for our customers to do business with us.”

Hubs of activity

Andy knows that YESSS’s customers aren’t just buying electrical products, they are buying expertise and he wants YESSS branches to be hubs of activity where people gather to buy, but also to seek advice. “Having a wide range of stock is one thing, but staff have to understand the needs of the customers they serve and how to make their lives easier if they are to keep them loyal.”

To this end, YESSS has a custom built training academy at its Yorkshire HQ where it conducts comprehensive training for all branch staff and invites in product manufacturers to give specific training on their tools and equipment. In addition, the branches hold regular events and promotions, including trade days where contractors have the chance to engage with product manufacturers and suppliers and can take advantage of cut-price calibration deals.

Andy believes that the company’s future success will also depend on ensuring YESSS is keeping abreast of the latest technological developments, and as a result investment in energy efficiency and renewables is high on the YESSS agenda. “Renewables is a huge growth industry that offers big opportunities for the installers we serve. As a consequence of this we’ve added the latest technologies to our range, like the Pod Point, a revolutionary home charging system for electric and hybrid vehicles and a comprehensive range of energy efficient LED lighting. Recently, our Darlington branch began selling a cutting edge thermal imaging camera. Previously the domain of Ferrari’s F1 team, now renewables installers in the North East are using the camera to spot potential problems in solar PV systems.”

And that is what seems to be at the heart of the YESSS Electrical approach, spotting problems and helping customers solve them.

So what next for YESSS? “We are planning to continue our branch expansion programme over the next five years, as well as further developing our online offering. With householders and businesses increasingly demanding more from installers, we want to offer somewhere they can get all the tools, advice and value they need in one place.”

So have the last 18 months of rapid expansion not taken their toll? Andy laughs: “It’s certainly been a busy time, but we have a clear vision and we know we are building something special. We are ambitious, so we are looking to add more customers, secure new sites and, hopefully, win more awards.”