National Buying Group Partners in expansion mode

Three independent builders merchants are continuing the growth their businesses, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Throughout 2020, PGR Builders & Timber Merchants, QS Supplies and County Building Supplies – all National Buying Group partners – have experienced major growth.

PGR Builders & Timber Merchants is a family-owned independent merchant, operating across Essex and Surrey. It opened a new branch in Braintree last year with a further two branches expected to be open by early 2021.

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PGR managing director, Steve Atkins, said: “The successes we have seen, despite the impact of Covid-19, have been really encouraging. Our current stores are operating well and with two more due to open in the coming months, this is a really exciting time for PGR. We were able to create jobs for eight people when we opened our Braintree branch in 2019 and we’re proud to be able to provide opportunities for more local people in such uncertain times, when we open our next two branches.”

QS Supplies acquired a new location for its Buildyard brand this year, taking the total to three builders’ merchant sites and two bathroom showrooms. After already taking on new staff members to meet the demand on existing sites during the pandemic, the new branch opening will create a further 15 jobs for local people.

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Shafiq Member, buyer at QS Supplies, said: “It was impossible to predict how business would be during these unprecedented times, but we’re pleased to say that the current climate isn’t stopping us. Our new branch is allowing us to expand into an area of Leicester that we don’t currently operate in and we’re working closely with our team to make sure that the new site will give customers the best possible experience. We’re so proud to be able to provide opportunities for local people and are looking forward to opening soon.”

County Building Supplies, based in Malvern, is opening a new branch this year in Cheltenham, in addition to the 14 existing branches. The new site will specialise in heavy building materials and plumbing and heating supplies and will act as a ‘collect’ branch for customers.

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Due to business growth, the merchant has already taken on 12 new members of staff this year and will be created further opportunities for local people when the new branch opens towards the end of this year.

Director Martyn Rees is optimistic about the growth that the company is seeing: “The expansion of our business is something we are really proud of; not only are we opening yet another branch, but we have been in the fantastic position of needing to take on more staff during the pandemic. We’re branching out with our offering and exploring the Electric Vehicle (EV) market at the moment, we’ve already created partnerships with local sports clubs in Cheltenham to provide the charging points. We are also going to be supplying bacteria reducing fogging machines in the near future.

“As ever, we will continue to do our upmost to live up to County Building Supplies’ motto to be ‘the happiest builder’s merchants in the world.”

Nick Oates, Managing Director at NBG, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to see so many of our Partners undergoing growth, particularly in this very difficult time, whether this is opening new branches, refitting shops or investing in new machinery.

“At NBG, we’re incredibly proud of how our Partners have continued to operate during the Coronavirus pandemic and we love to see them reaping the benefits of all the hard work they put in to enriching their customers’ experiences. The resilience shown during this period by everyone has been fantastic, going above and beyond to ensure that customers can still access their services safely.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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