German manufacturers led the way in the latest AIS annual awards as well as independent retailers Stokers, Roomes of Upminster and Ena Shaw all received member of the year recognitions.
Buying group Associated Independent Stores revealed that German company Himolla won the ‘Supplier of the Year for 2016’ award for the first time in the upholstery category (pictured), whilst fellow compatriot Venjakob was named as the ‘Supplier of the Year’ in the cabinet category, with both receiving the prestigious Gold Standard Award in their respective categories.
Within the upholstery category, Alstons in Colchester and Polish firm Primavera came in second and third respectively, whilst Baker Furniture and Danish firm Unique Furniture were voted in second and third respectively in the cabinet sector.
AIS also revealed the ‘Member of Year’ awards, with the larger turnover group category split into two for this first time this year –one for single store retailers and the other for multiples.
For the second successive year, Stokers Group was voted as the larger turnover member of the year, with Glasswells in second and Sterling Furniture taking third place. In the single store category, Rommes of Upminster, whilst Arighi Bianchi of Macclesfield and Barkers Home Store in Northallerton were voted in second and third respectively.
In the smaller turnover group, Ena Shaw in St Helens were voted number one for the first time. Eyres of Chesterfield came in second, with Woods Furniture of Dorchester in third.
To round off the celebration, AIS revealed the 21 Gold Standard Award winners for the upholstery and cabinet categories. The winners in upholstery were Alstons, Ashley Manor, Ashwood Designs, Celebrity, Daro, Duresta, G-Plan Upholstery, Himolla, Parker Knoll, Primavera and Tetrad.
The winners in the cabinet category were Actona, ALF Uno Spa, Andrena, Baker Furniture, Jual Furnishings, TCH Furniture, UK-CF, Unique Furniture, Value Mark and Venjakob.
Peter Mallinson, merchandise director for AIS Home, said: “The competition for both member of the year and supplier of the year was a strong as I have ever known. As far as the Gold Standards was concerned, I was delighted with the results as the criteria for winning the awards had become much more stringent over recent years reflecting the need to ensure that wherever possible, we as an industry exceed customer expectations.”