On 21 November, 2014, London’s Lancaster Hotel played host to almost 600 key figures from the UK builders’ merchant industry in a highlight of the annual merchant calendar.

The 13th annual Builders’ Merchants Awards celebrated excellence across the industry, highlighting some of the most successful and resourceful merchants from across the country.

This year’s worthy winners were:

  • Achiever of the Year: Bob Butler, Ridgeons
  • Best Customer Service of the Year: Ridgeons
  • Branch Manager of the Year: Neil Grice, EH Smith
  • Hard Landscaping Display of the Year: Buildbase Sunderland
  • Heating & Plumbing Merchant of the Year: Plumbase
  • Independent Builders’ Merchant of the Year (1-5 branches): CT Baker
  • Independent Builders’ Merchant of the Year (6+ branches): EH Smith
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: John Poore
  • Marketing Initiative of the Year: Beatsons Building Supplies
  • National Builders’ Merchant of the Year: Gibbs & Dandy
  • Rob Simpson Training Initiative of the Year: Gibbs & Dandy
  • Showroom of the Year: EH Smith Solihull kitchen & bathroom showroom
  • Supplier of the Year: IKO PLC
  • Timber Centre of the Year: Covers Trade Centre
  • Tool Showroom of the Year: Anglia Tool Centre
  • Trainee of the Year: Gwen Burgius, Ridgeons
  • Website & Digital Initiative of the Year: Parker Building Supplies.

The 17 categories announced on the day gave every sector of the industry their chance to stand in the spotlight. From Tool Showrooms and Timber Centres to Customer Service and awards for Best Branch Manager, all the nominations were again of a very high standard, leaving the Judging Panel, in many cases, with some very difficult decisions to make.

Speaking at the event, Jennie Ward, chair of the Judging Panel, said: “Business has been improving for everyone this year, and nowhere has that been clearer than in this year’s Awards. We’ve seen merchants seizing opportunities in the market and reinventing their business into new sectors. Everyone who submitted an entry has the right to be incredibly proud of their hard work.”

Hosting the Awards was comedian, actor and writer Hugh Dennis, who entertained the assembled guests and presented each Award to the worthy winners.

A key annual networking event for the sector, this year's Awards was again held in partnership with the Builders' Merchants Federation, bringing together the most influential merchants and suppliers to make new connections and strengthen existing customer relationships.