Woodhouses 1990-1999: Passing the baton.
The early 1990s eased out of recession and once again entrepreneurialism grabbed hold and the small business sector led the nationwide recovery.
Woodhouses celebrated the improving business outlook and in 1992 supplied their best temporary stables to the Barcelona Olympic Games. In the same season, Woodhouses bought their first aluminium framed structures which were fast gaining traction at UK shows and events. With these in their hire stock and despite Woodhouses belief in the superiority of their tried and tested timber Shedding structures, they relented and joined the movement introducing their own proprietary design 6 x 6m Clearspan Trade Stands at the 1994 Suffolk County Show. This robust and versatile design continues to stand the test of time and forms the basis of their leading trade stands product range today.
At the end of the 1994 show season, the Woodhouse Directors made the difficult decision to sell the business to ensure its continuity and that of its employees in Nottingham. The process lasted 6 months and on the 1st june 1995, the 105 year old business was sold to Tony and Adrienne Marsh who proudly took on the baton of the 5th generation family interest. The business handover began during the middle of the 1995 show and event season and lasted over 3 seasons as the Woodhouse brothers transferred their contracts and relationships in this personal service led industry.
In the second half of the 1990’s Woodhouses accelerated the modernisation of its hire stock, its fleet and the use of forklifts on site. Significant investment was committed to Clearspan Trade Stands, aluminium Grandstands and recycled plastic trackboards. Design time was spent looking at what shape, size and materials should define the next generation of temporary stable. This was a considered position as with a hire stock of some 4,000 timber stables this was a gargantuan task and investment!
Competition was now firmly in place across all hire product ranges and Woodhouses were holding their own while they transitioned their traditional hire products to compete with the modern aluminium structures which packed-up smaller requiring less transport and fewer manpower hours to erect and take-down.
In 1997 the 1st Labour Government since the 1970s was elected with a large majority and took up the administration reins, their goal to eliminate the “Boom & Bust Cycle”. Needless to say what would a modern decade look like without one of the same and in 1999 the Dot-Com bubble burst!