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Ridgeons anticipates a strong 2014

A year on since Ridgeons reaffirmed its commitment to the Eastern region with the opening of four new sites, Managing Director Angela Rushforth confirms that trading is on the up and the Group is looking forward to a strong 2014.

This news coupled with signs that the UK’s construction sector grew in August at its fastest pace for nearly six years, together with sector improvement led by residential building, indicate that the coming months promise renewed activity for one of the UK’s leading independent timber and builders’ merchants.

Of the acquisitions Ridgeons made last year, three were former Build Center sites located in St Neots, St Ives and Bedford, and one was located in a new area for the Group in Royston. Over the past 12 months each site has undergone investment to align them with the Group’s existing offering and service commitment.

Angela commented: “Opportunities across the three acquired branches have proved fruitful, with the investment across these sites paying dividends. Prior to acquisition employees at these sites had experienced uncertainty and the branches were under investment. Consequently our priorities were to effectively address these key areas and make significant improvements.”

“These improvements included re-branding, re-merchandising, , implementing new operating systems and the introduction of a defined customer retention strategy. Another fundamental part of the process was to ensure that all employees felt involved during the transition period. ”

“Across all three of the previous Build Center branches we have retained a large proportion of the customer base and have improved the product and service offering. Most recently, the Bedford branch has seen the opening of a new Ridgeons’ Timber Centre, providing a larger range and depth of quality timber stock, underpinned with fully trained and experienced employees on hand to offer expert advice. The site had a strong timber trading history and it made good business sense to make such an investment.”

“The transition has been challenging, but the outcomes have been hugely rewarding and that has largely been down to the supportive attitude of the branch teams in wanting Ridgeons as a Group to progress and succeed. As recognition of the Ridgeons’ name in these areas grows, we are confident that our quality products, the expertise of our people and our high standards of service for which we are renowned in other parts of the region, will continue to gain momentum.”

Commenting on the acquisition of the Royston branch, Angela continued: “Royston had been earmarked as a potential growth area for the Group, for some time. So, as soon the York Way site became available, we could immediately see the benefits that the location offered in meeting the existing and future needs of our customers. .”

Since the opening of the Royston branch, the product range has been enhanced to include more timber stock, introduction of a new paint mixing and matching service, and a number of partnership opportunities with surrounding businesses have also been established.

Angela concludes: “We eagerly await the much anticipated activity that is forecast across the industry. Our 25 branches strategically place us to effectively and efficiently support the emergent needs of our customers to leverage these new opportunities.”

Source : Professional Builders' Merchant

19 September 2013
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