Bensons and Prestige Beds scoop Bed Show awards
Bensons for Beds and Prestige Beds were last night named as Bed Retailers of the Year at the Bed Show awards.
Bensons won the over £5m beds turnover category. Its megastore concept has continued to roll out across the country and this year has seen the introduction of Design Centres, offering customers access to interiors specialists to help them design their ideal bedroom space. More than 1,000 sales staff have also completed additional independently accredited sleep training.
Preston retailer Prestige Beds won the under £5m turnover category. The company has reinventing itself over the past 12 months to push business growth, engage with new customers and improve the customer experience through in depth market research, refurbished stores and better staff training. The company has also invested in increasing its online presence and deploying smart phone technology on POS, all which has led to a massive increase in online reviews, greater in-store conversion rates, increases in turnover and better sales margins.
The awards were announced by Meera Syal at the Bed Show’s Gala Dinner at the Telford International Centre, attended by more than 500 people from the industry.
In the over £5m turnover category Archers Sleepcentre and Leekes were runners-up.
With a trademarked brand, investment in software, staff training, store refurbishment programme and new initiatives, Archers Sleepcentre was praised for its move away from a discount, ‘beds to take away today’ business model to embrace a much deeper bed specialist approach.
Leekes has opened new-look mini sleep centres, introduced new ranges, developed improved, benefit-focused POS, invested in extra training, and provides all sales staff with tablets so they can access specification sheets, videos, buying guides and links to useful websites.
In the under £5m category Burley in Wharfedale retailer The Carriage was runner-up. It took over an ailing business, with no retail or bed industry experience and turned it into a profitable business that has seen turnover treble in the first 15 months while maintaining healthy gross profit margins.
‘The standard of entries, in all categories, was very high and the gap between winners, runners up and other entrants was very small. Everyone who entered should be very proud of their achievements whether or not they were winners. The determination to do better, the innovation, investment and progress being made demonstrates just what a vibrant and exciting industry this is and why we should all be justly proud of it,’ said Jessica Alexander, NBF executive director.
The awards were judged by Peter Mallinson, AIS merchandise director – home; Roy Beagent, Minerva group business manager; Bernard Eaton, Greenwood Retail md; Richard de Melim, Furnishing Report editor and Alexander.