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Bangor builders’ merchant wins 2014 Northern Ireland Award

by Gavin Doherty | Nov 21, 2014

J P Corry, Bangor is the overall winner in the third Octabuild Northern Ireland Builders Merchant Awards. The award was presented on Thursday 3 April in the Hilton Belfast Hotel before an audience of almost 200 people representing the merchant and building industry.

The awards judge, James Burke was lavish in his praise of the high standard he found among all the builders merchants visited. He described JP Corry Bangor as, “an exceptionally well run business with a robust focus on sales, staff involvement and superb attention to detail.”

JP Corry has been supplying quality products to the building industry for 200 years.

The Bangor store, one of 18 in the group, employs 13 full and part-time staff. It offers a full range of timber and building supplies. It has a landscape centre, door and floor showroom, and self-build centre and specification product showroom.

Seven category awards were also presented on the night to a mixture of independent and group stores. The winners were

Murdock Builder’s Merchants, Newtownards (Customer Service Award) Fifteen years in business this Murdock branch offers a wide range of products for any DIY, building or commercial job. This is a store described by the judge as having “a good focus on sales initiatives and close contacts with its key customers.”

JP Corry, Lisburn (Merchandising Award) With a full-time staff of 15 JP Corry Lisburn stocks a full range of building supplies and timber products. The branch has an architectural and landscape display and holds chain of custody certification. The judge described it as “an exceptionally well-run store with a team focussed on up selling.”

Haldane Fisher, Larne (Trade Counter Award) In business since 2010 Haldane Fisher, Larne employs 9 full and part-time staff. It carries the full Haldane Fisher product offering, timber, building and plumbing supplies as well as a door and floor studio plus a bathroom showroom, which was opened in 2011. “This is a very well managed site with a team approach to driving sales,” said the judge.

P. McDermott & Sons Ltd., Omagh (Owner Managed/Single Store Award) Over 40 years in business and with 28 full and part-time staff the core business is builder’s merchant, farm supplier and hardware retailer. Its reputation is founded on excellent customer service due to the expertise and experience of its workforce. The manager in this store was singled out by the judge as “a very energetic manager who motivates her sales team”

Murdock Builder’s Merchants, Banbridge (Multi Location Branch Award) Murdock Builders Merchants, established in 1982, has a highly experienced team in place across all areas of the business. The branch in Banbridge, stocks a comprehensive range of building materials and general home and garden improvement products with a customer base ranging from the major construction companies to the general DIY enthusiasts. The judge described Murdock’s Banbridge as “having an exceptionally well laid out yard and shop with a strong sales growth plan in place.”

N.G. Bell & Son Ltd, Ballywalter (Innovation Award) Now established for over 60 years this family business is run with a keen eye on expansion and continued success. It employs 10 full-time staff and offers a complete timber building supplies and DIY range of products. It was described by the judge as, “a highly innovative business, for example recycling waste wood product as horse bedding. Its community and social responsibility aspect of the business is one of the highest we have seen.”

Newry Building Supplies (Management Systems Award) Now 32 years in business Newry Building Supplies has 26 full and part-time staff. “This is a very large well run business with a strong focus on sales growth.” said the judge.

The building material manufacturers who organised the awards as Octabuild are: Gyproc, Dulux Paints, Glennon Brothers, Kingspan Insulation, Sanbra Fyffe, Tegral and Wavin.

In introducing the awards Octabuild chairman Jim Loughran said, “We have all learned something from the downturn over the past few years. We have learned that In an era of austerity every business has to work harder at providing its customers with the best possible service and value in terms of price, delivery and technical support.

“The high standard of builders merchants in Northern Ireland is again evident in the winners and I can tell you that the marks awarded, were very close and made selecting the award winners a very difficult task.”

James Burke who visited and judged all of the entrants said that entering the awards showed confidence in having your business assessed against your peers. He said that overall he found a great focus on driving sales and excellent examples of customer service and values.”