The Adola family business was established in 1930 as a wholesaler specialised in the sale and distribution of steel products: knives, scissors, multi-tools, pocket torches, optics and a wide range of innovative outdoor products. At Adola, quality brands such as Leatherman, Buck, Light My Fire, Spyderco, Olight, Nite Ize, Cols Steel and Benchmade are often exclusively distributed in the Netherlands.
Focus on B2B
Director Jerko van den Hazel: “The sale of our brands is primarily focused on businesses. For suppliers, flag store websites and shops are maintained for the main purpose of marketing and strengthening the brand experience. Adola’s customer base of over 2,000 customers consists of large retail chains, independent retailers, web shops, gift shops, promotional gift suppliers and companies where staff require knives, torches and associated items for the production process.”
The order volumes vary from annual to sometimes daily orders. These orders can be delivered at lightning speeds from the large warehouse with over 4,300 different items. Moreover, Adola supports its customers with in-store marketing. Jerko: “Our team of fifteen staff help customers to successfully sell our products.”
Adola is doing well in the Netherlands and has an excellent reputation. That is why more and more suppliers started to approach them, asking whether they would be interested in developing the Belgian market as well. A few years ago, a representative was appointed to solely represent the Belgian market. This paid off in a growing customer portfolio.
The company’s ambition is to expand in the Belgian market; there are still many potential customers to approach. The focus remains on the Netherlands and Belgium. In any case, it is difficult to enter new markets because many supplier dealerships have already been established in these countries. Moreover, Jerko believes that focusing on existing customers is more worthwhile than chasing new clients. “Existing customers should not have to bear the brunt of our growth ambitions. By focusing our attention on existing customers and providing them with proper support in their sales and marketing processes, we also achieve growth. This is also a more convenient and efficient approach in terms of our distribution channels.
In-house product development and innovation
New brands continue to be added to our product range, but Adola is also active with in-house product development. For example, Adola has developed a compact and ultra-lightweight titanium cutlery set. New products are also being developed following requests from the market.
Growth through web shops
Sales to parties on the Internet has grown rapidly in recent years. “We are very critical, and we don’t supply to just anyone. We are a top brand, and we therefore wish to do business with the top brand web shops,” Jerko explains.
Export country: Belgium & Luxembourg