It was a night for celebrations as five bed industry champions scooped top awards at the National Bed Federation (NBF) Bed Industry Awards at the Bed Show Gala Dinner in Telford.
The winners were Harrison Spinks for Bed Manufacturer of the Year; John Cotton for Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Furniture Village for Multiple Bed Retailer of the Year; Newbridge Street Bedding Centres for Independent Bed Retailer of the Year and Mattress Online for E-tailer of the Year.
Now in their fifth year, the highly sought after awards are designed to recognise the companies considered as ‘best in class’ over the past 12 months. The winners were chosen, from a bumper crop of entries, by an independent panel of judges which consisted of editors from the industry’s trade journals (Chris Edward-Thorne, Cabinet Maker; Richard de Melim, Furnishing Report; Paul Farley, Furniture News; Andrew Kidd, Interiors Monthly) along with Bernard Eaton, md of Greenwood Retail and Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF.
The awards were announced to the winners by Gyles Brandreth at the Bed Show’s Gala Dinner (22nd September) at the Telford International Centre.
This year’s Bed Manufacturer of the Year prize went to Harrison Spinks, a true leader in the sector and who, in the past 12 months, has seen further developments in its own internationally recognised, world leading spring technology in the pursuit of greater sleeping comfort.
Runners up in a hotly contested category were Breasley Consumer Products and Kaymed UK. With strong entries, Breasley, who is celebrating 10 years in business, was praised for its achievement across the board, resulting in steady, sustainable and profitable growth. Kaymed was also a close runner up and deserved recognition for its innovation in thermal mattress technology, successfully supported by a well thought out trade and consumer marketing campaign.
Winning Bed Component Supplier of the Year was John Cotton’s non wovens division for its innovative, patented solutions to customers’ problems and its focus on tackling the challenges of the circular economy agenda and getting ahead of the game. Praise was given to Deslee Clama who came highly commended in the category thanks to its impressive, internationally recognised, innovative design, creating products providing consumer benefits as well as solving issues for both manufacturers and retailers.
Scooping the Multiple Retailer of the Year for the second year running was Furniture Village. Once again the judges felt the company demonstrated a strong commitment to developing its bed business and delivered a strong performance over the past 12 months, significantly increasing sales and average order values. It has also been very progressive in taking its bed business forward across all fronts. The judges also commented that such progress is particularly difficult at the higher end of the market.
Highly commended went to Bensons for Beds for its commitment to move away from a pure price focus, while its efforts to improve the customers’ shopping experience is refreshing and delivering encouraging results.
Competition was strong for the Independent Retailer of the Year category with entries from up and down the country. A special mention must go to all the retailers in this sector that are embracing the online challenge, moving away from price-driven messages towards selling better sleep, emphasising customer service and staff training and taking an imaginative approach to marketing.
But the winner of this year’s award went to Newbridge Street Bedding Centre. The sudden, tragic loss of the company’s founder last year might have seen the demise of the business. Instead it has inspired the management team to try even harder. On the back of customer research, this business has re-engineered its focus from the ground up, pressed the re-set button and seen strong development in its new direction.
Land of Beds was highly commended for demonstrating excellent branding, an impressive online performance and exceptional marketing skills.
And finally the Bed E-tailer of the Year award went to Mattress Online. The company is making good headway in a very tough market, delivering profitable growth in a very price sensitive sector, with a strong focus on good customer service and taking account of wider issues such as the environment.
Said Ebrahim Patel, president of the NBF: “Now in their fifth year, the bed industry awards are the pinnacle of excellence and this year the competition was stronger than ever with the quality of entries improving year-on-year, giving the judges an ever harder task. Once again the awards demonstrate that the bedding industry has some brilliant companies doing very brilliant things – and it’s great to be a part of that. Well done to our winners!”