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Pushing a Hand Cart to the Olympics

Posted in: Ideas and Advice
21 November 2022

We’re proud to be marking our centenary in 2020 and, as soon as we can safely do so, we will celebrate as intended. All the best business stories start with an idea, combined with spotting a gap in the market and a passion for quality. Pushing a hand cart to the Olympics – In 1920, a young Arnold Laver took his hand cart around Sheffield to find buyers for wood. Sales were good, a horse was purchased and his success continued from there. This journey from one man and a single depot in Sheffield to now being part of the largest independent timber merchant in the UK, with a network of 19 depots across the country, is worth celebrating in itself. In 2012, Arnold Laver supplied half of all the timber and wood products used in building the sports venues for the London Olympics.

Laver today

Today, we’re proud to continue to supply wood to some of the UKs largest construction projects, and just as proud to supply to some of the smallest. We value our customers in the world of DIY just as much as those in the construction industry – every customer is just as important to us.

Growing Branches

Our latest openings include Milton Keynes and the new Arnold Laver in Cannock, welcoming new people to our family of over 750 employees nationwide. We know Arnold was a self-starter and a good salesman, but we think his friendliness and ability to ‘talk wood’ was evident. We also surmise that the quality of his product and his level of service were uppermost in his mind which led to him building up a loyal customer base in Sheffield during the tough times of the 1920s.  

2020 Vision

We retain the same priorities today and ensure our customers benefit from the original Arnold Laver qualities that helped build the company to what it is in 2020. Our story continues with customer service and quality products at our heart, but we hope to never lose sight of how we started. It’s always worth remembering that simple – and rather aptly constructed -wooden hand cart which helped set Arnold on his journey.


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