EVO Group secures new financing arrangements to 2024

EVO Group secures new financing arrangements to 2024

The EVO Group of Companies is delighted to announce that it has successfully secured new, simplified £90m
financing facilities to support its future plans.
After a competitive process including offers from its existing lenders, EVO Group has agreed new syndicated
facilities with Breal Zeta and Leumi ABL for the next 3 years to replace its existing facilities that were due to
expire in April 2021.

Steve Haworth, CEO of EVO Group comments:
“As we end a positive 2020 for our Group, we are very pleased to announce the successful completion of the
refinancing of our facilities. The fact that we have completed this process whilst still in the middle of the
pandemic and just before the next Brexit deadline is testament to the hard work and commitment of those
involved and reaffirms the confidence we and others have in our business model and the positive outlook for the
multi-channel sales, marketing and operational platform we have built.”

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our existing lenders who have supported us over many
years and we look forward to building equally good long term relationships with our new partners”.

Andy Ross, Partner at Endless added:
“We are very pleased with what the whole team at EVO has achieved during 2020 and the confident in the
strength of EVO’s offering in a transformed market. The business has delivered strong results in a challenging
economic environment.”

“Ending the year with the completion of this refinancing puts the business in a fantastic position going into
2021 and beyond to further develop and grow.”

Ben Milner, Business Development Director at Breal added:
“It has been a pleasure working with EVO to structure this facility which will support them in continuing to
achieve their long-term goals. Their performance this year, during a difficult trading period for many, is
testament to their strong leadership and business model. We look forward to working closely with the EVO team
in the years ahead”

Note to Editors:-
The EVO Group of Companies is the largest (£500m+) operator in the £18bn business supplies market. It
connects manufacturers and brands to their business customers through its unique, integrated & multi-channel,
sales, e-commerce, operational and transport platform.

EVO provides sales, marketing, sourcing, delivery, storage and fulfilment services on behalf of manufacturers to
value added resellers, corporate, public sector and SME organisations in the UK and Ireland. It does this via its
Group Companies, VOW & Banner and through 4 online trading sites using its own 350 vehicle transport
organisation, Truline.

Truline Reaches Milestone of 10 Million Parcels for 2020!

Truline Reaches Milestone of 10 Million Parcels for 2020!

We our proud to have delivered our 10 millionth parcel this year!

The Truline team has now delivered their 10 millionth parcel of 2020.  This is a great achievement, emphasizing the hard work and determination the team have put in to navigate the logistical obstacles and continue to deliver to our customers through what has been a very tough year.


Please join us in saying well done to the Truline team for reaching this amazing milestone.

Vow Wholesale





VOW Wholesale have announced plans to extend their operational schedule and trading window over the festive break. In a change to previous years, VOW’s distribution centre will continue to pick and despatch all direct delivery sales volumes between Christmas and New Year.


Operations Director Martin Weedall says that changing customer behaviour and discussions with VOW’s value add resellers has led to this change in approach.


“While forecasting sales volumes in the current situation remains a challenge, we recognise the importance of maintaining a “business as usual” stance as far as possible to support our VOW resellers. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven many changes in the way we all live and work, especially when it comes to the number of people now working from home. This change in end-user dynamics is one that we have seen ourselves from an operational perspective and feedback from resellers has been that extending our trading window over the Christmas period would be a welcome development in support of their own service offering.”


VOW is anticipating that working habits over Christmas may also change, with home-working leading to the potential for additional demand over the traditional holiday period.


Marketing Director Helen Wade says, “We know that there is a definite trend to people buying from local businesses and that is great news for resellers. We will make sure that we do all we can to support them in building relationships and providing great service to their customers. Opening the warehouse between Christmas and New Year to facilitate deliveries on December 30th and 31st is not something VOW has done previously, but it is necessary this year to support our reseller community and in response to changing customer behaviour.”


VOW will be writing to resellers with full details of all delivery schedules shortly.

Staples Banner Evo-Group

Staples Solutions Announces Agreement to Sell UK Book of Business - www.staples.co.uk

Staples Solutions Announces Agreement to Sell UK Book of Business - www.staples.co.uk


High Wycombe, 08 August 2020 – Staples Solutions B.V. today announces that it has reached an agreement to sell its book of business in the UK (www.staples.co.uk and staplesadvantage.co.uk) to  Banner Group Ltd. part of the EVO Group.

“I am pleased we have found such a strong partner in Banner  to support our customers and employees going forward’’ says Dolph Westerbos, Chief Executive Officer of Staples Solutions. “Following the sale of our UK retail business more than 3 years ago, our remaining contracts and online business has been burdened with a spectacular distribution centre and a systems infrastructure that was simply too large and costly. Despite winning substantial new tenders and a strong revenue performance over the past 2 years, the heavy fixed cost burden meant our UK business remained structurally loss-making.

Now as part of a larger company, the future support of our customers and many colleagues is on solid ground, and that gives me great satisfaction”, Westerbos continues.  “Banner will inherit a strong business, which showed its resilience once more during the corona-crisis. In fact, over these first 7 months in 2020 we grew our UK book of business compared to 2019, and I think that is a remarkable success. Credit to our entire UK team.”

Staples will continue to support its 3PL business in the UK, but are looking for a smaller warehouse to serve those customers. Staples Solutions will also honour all its UK pension obligations. Although this transaction safeguards as many employee roles as possible, some future reorganisation may be made.

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Staples Solutions B.V and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues, customers and suppliers into the EVO family.  It has become clear during the past months that we share a common approach to how we do business and this approach together with the quality of the business that is being acquired make the conclusion of this agreement all the more pleasing.  We look forward to the platform that the wider EVO Group represents contributing further to the obvious progress that has been made in this business. ” said Steve Haworth, Chief Executive Officer of EVO


About Staples Solutions
Staples Solutions is the leading provider of workplace products, services, and solutions serving small, mid-sized, and large businesses in Europe. Through our integrated offering, Staples Solutions is the partner of choice to meet the diverse needs of the workplace of today and tomorrow.


About EVO Group
The EVO Group of Companies connects manufacturers and brands to their business customers through its integrated multi-channel, sales, e-commerce, operational and transport platform.  EVO provides sales, marketing, sourcing, delivery, storage and fulfilment services to resellers via Vow and direct to corporate, public sector and SME organisations in the UK and Ireland through Banner.  Deliveries to all of these customers are primarily completed by Truline, an in house fleet with  350 vehicles.

Vow Wholesale




VOW’S business update roadshow delivered last week at 3 locations around the country saw the wholesaler deliver a series of positive messages regarding the state of their business.

Managing Director, Adrian Butler reflected on the progress made during 2019.

It had been, he said, a year dominated by overcapacity, continued consolidation and the uncertainty around BREXIT. However, great advances had been made within the company, which had been fully restructured and rebranded as VOW Wholesale. Alongside a number of company initiatives such as the implementation of the transport management system, the introduction of the self-service customer portal, which is now being used for over 80% of post-sale queries, and the rollout of the EVOlution CSR program, Adrian was particularly proud of the individual success of a number of VOW employees at the BOSS, EOPA, CRN and ECMOD Awards.

With a declining core market, VOW had powered on in Facilities Supplies, Tech and Exclusive Brands and was achieving organic growth from existing customers. This is alongside new business of more than £10.5m from new customers and more than £7m of contracts in the last 3 months.

There was no question, Butler said, that VOW had come into 2020 with momentum, and he was confident that the additional Q1 growth bonus announced the previous week, would further drive progress. VOW is deadly serious about growth, about working aggressively with suppliers to support fresh marketing initiatives and about being creative and innovative in utilising the supply chain to best effect.

Adrian confirmed that VOW is in discussions with a number of supplier partners about becoming their fulfilment operation, as well as becoming the warehouse and wheels for some reseller partners. “We need to do things differently and better to make sure our dealers retain an edge in the market. We know this will be another challenging year with price and margin pressure, but we will maintain our service levels, continue expanding into new product areas and develop our environmental product and marketing offering. We want to ensure that we demonstrate support to our supporters and become the chosen route to market for our suppliers.”

Vanessa Warne



VOW’s specialist interiors team was restructured during 2019, with an expansion from 8 to 11 dedicated team members under the leadership of Furniture Category Director, Vanessa Warne. Now all under one roof and fully aligned, the change has seen a remarkable upturn in sales and dealer engagement, which Vanessa puts down to the team’s CAN-DO approach.

Vanessa explains, “We recognise that our role in the supply of furniture is very much about service, and we measure our success not just in sales growth, but in delivering dealer orders complete, accurately, not damaged and on time.– this measure is an agreed KPI with our logistics partner, and that’s where the acronym CAN-DO comes from. But it also represents the willingness and determination of our interiors team to go the extra mile to support dealers and to build a phenomenal interiors proposition. It’s great to see that our customers are clearly appreciating our efforts.”

The proof is not purely anecdotal, the evidence is there to see in the division’s performance with 14% sales revenue growth in the core First Range, 500 dealers now opted in to receive VOW Interiors marketing, an increase in mailer demand of 40%, less than 1% damage and a next day service level of over 97%.

The success is driving innovation and expansion for VOW Interiors with the addition of 22 dedicated furniture delivery vehicles planned for March. These will be a mix of one and two-man vehicles, crewed by highly trained delivery and installation staff, operating from the dedicated furniture warehouse in Coleshill in the West Midlands.

The furniture showroom, which can be used by dealers to support their sales efforts, remains at the Arrow Distribution Centre in Lutterworth. Along with a team of specialist furniture business development managers to support our dealers, VOW Interiors offers a design, delivery and installation service and an average turnaround time for quotations of less than 45 minutes, Vanessa believes that there is no stronger support for resellers.

Vanessa continues, “Pricing of the First Range for 2020 is the most competitive ever. The range is supported by our MegaDeals mailer which is available free of charge to dealers on MyMarketing. In addition, dealers may still order copies of the VOW Interiors catalogue, which launches in Q2, until the end of the first week of February.”

“The range has been expanded to 6,500 skus, with increased stockholdings of the 2,500 catalogue lines stocked for next day delivery and a further 4,000 specials lines deliverable in 3-5 days. Our extended range allows us to support dealers to win those larger project orders, backed up with our exceptional in-house delivery and installation service.”

She says that the expansion has not only been driven by demand created by the project-led requirement for products, but also the commitment to offer more ergonomic and environmental solutions. “All of the wood we use comes from FSC accredited sustainable forests. We have removed all polystyrene packaging materials from our desking ranges and replaced them with honeycombed card, and all plastic corner protectors are now recyclable. All of these initiatives support the dealers in their conversations with customers and our EVOlution CSR program objectives, so they’re win wins.”

For dealers wishing to know more about the exciting developments within VOW Interiors or to familiarise themselves with the new offering, VOW will be holding interiors events in the North, South and Midlands. Confirmed dates and locations will be announced very soon.

For more information please email sales@vowinteriors.co.uk or call 0114 256 6000

Vow Wholesale




There is good news for VOW Wholesale customers as the UK’s leading business supplies wholesaler announces an additional growth bonus for Q1 sales.The bonuses will be calculated at the end of March on the basis of each dealer’s total spend in all product categories.

This will be compared with the equivalent period in 2019 and bonuses will be paid out on all incremental spend excluding EOS.

There are two levels of bonus. For dealers achieving 20% growth, a bonus of 5% will be paid, and for 35%, this will increase to 7.5% of the incremental sales.Managing Director, Adrian Butler says, “Following our investment in new product expansion, stock profile and operational effectiveness, we are delighted with the efficiency of our network.

We want to encourage dealers to think about what they could be buying from us that they currently source elsewhere and encourage them to put more business through VOW Wholesale.” Butler continues, “This bonus is very straightforward; every penny spent counts towards growth and the bonus is paid on all growth other than EOS.

There is no smoke and mirrors and with 7.5% bonus available, we think dealers will see this as a great opportunity to significantly improve their bottom line.”

To discuss further details re the scheme, dealers are advised to contact their VOW Wholesale Wholesale account manager.




One of VOW’s key strategic objectives at the start of 2019 was to work more closely with both suppliers and dealers in order to drive collaboration, innovation and efficiency through the supply chain. After a challenging but positive year, the wholesaler chose its recent Green Light event to take the opportunity to recognise outstanding performance by giving out its annual awards.


The award to a Red Venture dealer went to Cosmos, an Office Friendly member who have been quick to adapt to the changing market and have grown consistently through working closely with VOW and their group.


In the Gold Venture category, The Office Works impressed through their long-term values-based strategy and their vibrant and energetic approach. They have embraced portfolio expansion and been particularly successful in selling added-value FS solutions.


The Diamond Venture category was won by Clares Office Supplies who through close collaboration with VOW have established themselves as experts in transformational procurement and supply chain excellence.


The Newcomer Award went to Aston and James who having already diversified their 25-year old business into furniture and workwear have now made great strides into the environmental and health & wellbeing categories, bringing together their own approach and VOW’s EVOlution CSR policy.


On the supplier side, Fellowes continued its recent run of success winning the Supplier of the Year for their consistently high level of engagement and collaboration at all levels of the VOW business. Their support of marketing initiatives, innovation into new product areas and consistently excellent service set them apart.


Proving that business supplies is now a highly diverse channel, the Product of the Year went to Nestle for their Starbucks Dolce Gusto Coffee Pods, which provide consumers with excellent tasting coffee, and resellers with an ongoing sales opportunity to support a popular office coffee machine.


The final award for Account Manager of the Year went to Paul Granby of Henkel. Paul was recognised for demonstrating a clear understanding of the changing needs of the business and for his consistent enthusiasm working with the marketing and merchandising teams to find new opportunities.


Marketing Director, Helen Wade says, “Historic trading patterns went out of the window this year because of all the uncertainty caused by Brexit. It’s been hard to know what to expect from week to week, let alone from month to month and in circumstances like those, many businesses have understandably chosen to batten down the hatches. But, some of our suppliers and customer partners have been absolutely incredible in pushing forward, and it was great to be able to recognise their performance with an Award.”


“We are really happy for all of the winners and offer them our heart-felt congratulations on their achievements. It’s fantastic to work with such enthusiastic and forward-thinking partners and we are moving into 2020 with great optimism.”

Six of the Best at the BOSS Awards

Six of the Best at the BOSS Awards


The BOSS Industry Awards Dinner, held at the Tower Hotel alongside Tower Bridge, London, was a glittering occasion attended by around 400 professionals from every part of the office products industry.


Hosted by TV, Radio and stand-up comic, Lucy Porter, the event is one of the highlights of the industry calendar, with excellent networking, entertainment and a fine meal, but everything leads to the climax of the evening, a series of awards presented to wholesalers, dealers, manufacturers and brand owners.


The awards recognise excellence in all areas and are the highest accolades presented in the UK.


VOW was delighted to be shortlisted as finalists in the Initiative of the Year for their Transport Management System, which is improving visibility and efficiency whilst at the same time, reducing emissions and fuel usage. A second place on the finalist list came in the Publication of the Year for its mainline catalogue.


However, it was in the individual awards that VOW shone with six team members winning.


The award for Professional of the Year went to VOW Marketing Director, Helen Wade who was recognised for a year of outstanding success. Helen has overseen the strategic rebranding of the company as a specialist wholesaler and has repositioned the industry-leading Green Light event, making it a must-attend conference for reseller sales teams. In addition, she had driven the highly successful Whiteout and Heatwave incentive schemes and driven a complete overhaul of the MyMarketing Platform.


It’s also been quite a year for VOW Product Marketing Manager, Scott Castle. After winning the Young Professional of the Year at the EOPA Awards back in March, Scott has now added the BOSS Emerging Professional of the Year Award. Scott was commended by the judges for his work in developing the VOW AdVenture incentive campaign which delivered outstanding results for VOW and participating suppliers. Scott was also recognised for his role in supporting the establishment of the BOSS Leaders of the Future group, of which he will shortly be taking over the Chair from Emily Jones.


Steve Blowers has spent 30 years in Wholesaling, with Neville and Gladstone, John Heath, Kingfield Heath and ultimately VOW. From sales roles to branch management, to Senior Management Team and Board, Steve, who now is Director of Dealer Groups has been a constant in the evolution of VOW into its current position as the clear number one wholesaler in the channel. Steve was recognised by the BOSS Federation with an Unsung Hero Award.


Also receiving Unsung Hero Awards were three other VOW team members.


Matthew Allen was singled out for his great contribution to the VOW Commercial Team where his development of the analytical tools has allowed VOW to manage its sales, margins and cost to serve more effectively. The judges agreed that through his attitude, aptitude and excellent achievements, Matthew was deserving of the wider recognition of the industry.


Rebecca Brook, VOW Head of Inventory was recognised for the excellent work that she has done in managing a team of 17 people, with responsibility for controlling the ordering and intake of goods from suppliers and sustaining a high level of customer fill rate and availability. The judges identified that Rebecca has an excellent attitude and leads by example to encourage, develop and guide her team.


Finally, Sarah Whale, VOW Service Improvement Manager was awarded her Unsung Hero Award for her work in the implementation of VOWs Customer Self-Service Portal and her obsession with putting her customers first. The judges recognised her dogged determination and tenacity along with her ability to change mindsets, attitudes and outlooks in order to drive continuous improvements.


Helen Wade, Marketing Director said, “It was an incredible night and amazing to see so many of the VOW team being recognised. For me personally it was a great thrill to win and I felt proud and humbled to go up and collect my award. It may sound like a cliché, but it is true, that there are lots of people whose support contributes to this, and I want to thank all of them. I also want to offer massive congratulations to Scott, Steve, Matthew, Rebecca and Sarah for their awards. We’ve put a huge focus on our supply chain relationships and these awards clearly show that our approach is delivering results.”