Hertfordshire-based builders’ merchant, Brookers, is celebrating 15 years of successful partnership with National Buying Group (NBG) this summer, with the business reflecting on the benefits of shared experience and expertise from like-minded independents.
Brookers is a family-owned trio of builders merchants and homeware stores in Hitchin and Stevenage, with its reputation and quality of service relied upon by the people of North Hertfordshire for over 100 years.
After becoming a Partner of National Buying Group back in July 2008, Brookers saw immediate support that transformed the business.
Director, Doug Brooker, said: “Previously, we had been part of another buying group which we joined specifically to get support with our plumbing and heavyside offerings,” Doug said. “But they weren’t really meeting our expectations. National Buying Group was highly recommended, so we decided to check them out.
“As soon as we joined, we started getting the support we were after, and it’s not stopped. All of us need information or guidance from someone who has ‘been there, done that.’ At NBG – no matter the query, whether you’re looking to buy a new forklift or expand your product lines – you can just put out the call and somebody will be able to help you.”
During the Covid lockdowns – the most challenging period for the business over its 15-year partnership with NBG – Brookers found that being part of NBG made even that situation easier to navigate. NBG sourced alternative Suppliers to ensure merchants were kept well-stocked and offered support when it came to understanding safe practises and keeping in-line with sometimes confusing rules.
“Back in lockdown, just having someone to call and talk through what was going on with the business was really helpful,” Doug added. “Knowing that someone else was having the same troubles and figuring out the same solutions as you made a big difference. It’s really just another example of the culture; you pick up the phone and someone is happy to talk and ready to help.”
Reflecting on the 15-year partnership from NBG’s perspective. Nick Oates, managing director of NBG, said: “Brookers have been incredible as NBG Partners, really going above and beyond to share their expertise with other Partners who are considering expanding into painting and decorating. It’s been great to see them grow as a business and be instrumental in the success of other merchants. We’re very happy to celebrate this anniversary with them and look forward to what the future holds.”