Two of the UK’s leading independent home furnishing buying groups, The Minerva Furnishers Guild and SMG The National Furnishing Group, have agreed to form a collaboration arrangement that will enable them to formally work together to promote each other’s organisations as their preferred partner for the furniture and flooring sectors respectively.

SMG will also be offering Minerva members access to its comprehensive ‘Business Services’ benefits either through its full membership package or as a separate category of membership to retailers who do not currently operate carpet and flooring departments.

The joint venture commences with all SMG members being invited to attend The Minerva Members Show which will be held at The International Centre in Telford on 1st-2nd October. Additionally, Minerva members will be invited and encouraged to visit the next Buying Group’s National Flooring Show at Cranmore Park in May 2014.

Following finalisation of this arrangement, SMG’s executive chairman, Chris Moffat, comments: “We at SMG are delighted to have come to this unique collaboration arrangement with The Minerva Furnishers Guild. The synergy between our respective Groups is remarkable and I believe that this arrangement will prove extremely beneficial for both our retail members and approved suppliers alike. A number of our major carpet and flooring suppliers have already agreed to be represented by SMG at the Minerva Members Show in Telford in October and we will of course be encouraging as many members as possible to attend this prestigious and long-established event.”

Manufacturers and suppliers are also set to benefit immensely from this arrangement through additional PR and promotional exposure that will inevitably be aimed at a larger nationwide audience of quality independent retailers.

Martin Lukehurst, Minerva Furnishers Guild’s chairman, adds: “The Minerva Board and I have been extremely encouraged by the warmth and depth of our discussions over the past few months and although this Collaboration arrangement should be viewed as a friendly and positive initiative and not a merger, I firmly believe that there are great benefits to be gained by working together. SMG’s carpet, flooring and business services packages have a lot to offer and combined with Minerva’s extensive furniture product portfolio, we are confident that the prospect of dual SMG/Minerva membership will be extremely attractive to members of both groups.”