Five bed industry champions are celebrating after receiving the top awards at the National Bed Federation (NBF) Bed Show Gala Dinner this evening.
The winners were: Burgess Beds for Bed Manufacturer of the Year; Gateway Systems for Bed Supplier of the Year; Bensons for Beds for Multiple Bed Retailer of the Year; The Bed Chambers for Independent Bed Retailer of the Year; and Archers Sleepcentre for E-tailer of the Year.
Now in their third year, the awards once again invited nominations for the five categories, which are designed to recognise the companies considered as ‘best in class’ over the past 12 months.
The winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges which consisted of editors from the trade (George Cooper, Cabinet Maker; Richard de Melim, Furnishing Report; Paul Farley, Furniture News; Andrew Kidd, Interiors Monthly), and the clerk of The Furniture Makers, Jonny Westbrooke.
The awards were announced to the winners by broadcaster Gyles Brandreth at the Bed Show’s Gala Dinner at the Telford International Centre.
“These awards celebrate the good work of individual companies, but also the achievements of the UK and Irish bed industry as a whole"
Manufacturing hand-made bespoke beds since 1927, Burgess Beds proved that even smaller companies can innovate and succeed, and claimed the top spot as Bed Manufacturer of the Year. The company was praised for making great inroads internationally through its growing export business, building on its environmental policy and its passion for constantly improving – right down to small things such as a car share scheme.
A strong runner-up for the award was Hypnos, which was highly commended for its growth and inspirational performance.
Winning Bed Component Supplier of the Year, Gateway Systems demonstrated it was a European leader, staying at the forefront of bed production – rare for a UK company. For nearly 50 years, it has been supplying the mattress industry with innovative machinery such as Mattress Master tape-edge machines.
Rawsons Fillings was a close runner up, and was highly commended for its initiatives over the past 18 months.
After another progressive year, Bensons for Beds was a worthy winner of Multiple Retailer of the Year for the second year running. The company continued to set the benchmark among multiple retailers for the in-store experience and Bensons now has over 270 stores nationwide.
Competition was strong for the Independent Retailer of the Year category with entries from all over the country. A special mention goes to Land of Beds in Cheshire, last year’s winner, and Bold Street Beds of Preston.
But this year’s award went to The Bed Chambers, based in Retford, a real inspiration to other independents. With an enthusiastic owner, The Bed Chambers has an inventive approach to marketing that has continued to develop over the past year, with celebrity appearances, customer feedback, loyalty cards, online reviews and social media - all of which has led to growth in the business.
Finally, the Bed E-tailer of the Year award went to Archers Sleepcentre – which proved it is possible for a small, traditional, regional independent retailer to adapt and respond to the structural change taking place in the retail sector. It has built a sizeable online business that has taken it into the national arena, able to compete on an equal footing with large chains and early-stage ventures that are focused largely on top-line growth alone.
This was a strongly-contested category, and the judges singled out two further entries as highly commended: World Stores, which is flourishing within this new business environment; and, again, Land of Beds, which has shown how it has quickly adapted to the online environment.
Stuart Hibbert, president of the NBF, says: “The awards have really grown in momentum over the past three years and the categories are becoming hotly-contested fields, with results in several categories being very close - a reason why we’ve got several highly commendeds this year.
“These awards celebrate the good work of individual companies, but also the achievements of the UK and Irish bed industry as a whole. The industry should give itself a pat on the back for the hard work it does in bringing high quality products to the market in ever-more innovative ways. Well done to our winners!”
Pictured below are this year's winners: David Elsdon and Jo Covell, Gateway Systems; Ian Archibald, Archers Sleepcentre; NBF president Stuart Hibbert; Jodi Schofield, Burgess Beds; Lee Chambers, The Bed Chambers; and Alan Williams, Bensons for Beds.