ToughBuilt Industries Inc., which launched in 2012 to design and make “innovative” tools and accessories for the construction industry, now has designs on taking its fledgling business global through ecommerce.
The Lake Forest, California-based company, with $15.3 million in 2018 sales of products ranging from tool belts and knee pads to miter-saw stands, has an ambitious strategy of expanding into several foreign markets. Since launching an already fast-growing store on Amazon.com earlier this year, it has followed with stores on Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.com.au in Australia and Amazon.com.mx in Mexico. Its presence on Amazon complements its branded but non-transactional site at ToughBuilt.com, the company says
In addition, ToughBuilt has been expanding its business reach outside of ecommerce. Following its initial public offering of stock in November 2018, when it raised net proceeds of $12.4 million, the company announced in January that it had begun selling its products in the Menard’s chain of 300 home improvement stores across the Midwest and on Menards.com. ToughBuilt also entered a European distribution agreement with United Kingdom-based Toolbank, and connected with Bull Sales Inc., a Belle River, Ontario-based wholesaler and logistics services company, to supply its products to retailers and contractors in Canada.
Rapid growth in ecommerce
Ecommerce sales are showing particularly strong growth, ToughBuilt CEO Michael Panosian says. The new U.S. Amazon.com storefront, he says, “has become a significant driver of demand for our products. In fact, we achieved a $2.5 million annualized run-rate and over $200,000 worth of sales in the first month—with just our first 10 products.”
“We plan to dramatically expand the number of SKUs and aggressively market our Amazon storefront,” he adds.
ToughBuilt has retained WingPoint Group, a manufacturing and retail consulting firm, to help launch and manage its Amazon storefronts and overall online presence. “Launching an Amazon storefront and our entry into other marketplaces globally is an important next step in our strategy to grow our overall presence,” Panosian says.
The manufacturer is also expanding its product lines. It recently launched ToughBuilt Technologies as a subsidiary focused on developing new ruggedized mobile devices and related mobile apps designed to help construction workers communicate and access information at job sites. The company hasn’t said if its mobile devices would also support ecommerce transactions.
For the first quarter ended March 31, the most recent period for which it has reported financial figures, ToughBuilt reported net income of $500,000, compared with a year-earlier loss of $1.4 million, as revenue increased 27.9% to $5.02 million.
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