A FRODSHAM and Helsby retailer has been crowned ‘Retail Family Business of the Year’ at the national Family Business of the Year Awards 2017.
Land of Beds took the top national retail prize at London’s luxurious May Fair Hotel on a night that celebrated the best of British family business.
The winners, whose showrooms on Church Street, Frodsham and Chester Road, Helsby stock 80 different types of mattresses crafted by Britain’s top manufacturers, overcame UK-wide competition in their sector.
Praising the “progressive family firm that impressed at many levels,” the panel of expert judges from the world of business – advised by family business representatives – declared Land of Beds “worthy winners of this national accolade”.
Impressed by their entrepreneurial insight and the way that family members have been instrumental in devising and implementing the strategic plan for the business, the judges added: “Rather than rely on the past and their family heritage, Land of Beds has evolved significantly since the early days and embraced new ways of doing business, as it has now become a multi-channel retailer.”
Major investment and growth in recent years has seen the small, independent business emerge as a major national retailer – selling 1,000 mattresses every month UK-wide.
Founded in 1974, Land of Beds has been highly commended three times in the past five years at the National Bed Federation’s Bed Industry Awards and won a prestigious ‘High Sheriff Business Award for Enterprise’ in 2016 – cementing its status as Britain’s leading independent bed retailer and reputation for all-round retail excellence.
Their ‘Retail Family Business of the Year 2017’ accolade comes after the company opened a new distribution centre in Runcorn; moved to new headquarters in Frodsham; and launched its brand-new e-commerce site – www.landofbeds.co.uk – (built entirely in-house) in the past 12 months.
“On behalf of our Family Director Team and all our colleagues at Land of Beds, we would like to thank all the Family Business United judges,” said Mike Murray, Managing Director, who also paid tribute to the hard work and tenacity of all the awards finalists.
“Our business has been passed down through three generations and we are thrilled that our granddad and founder, Harry Murray, can see today just how far we have come on our journey to become Britain’s best family retailer – one that has invested in nationally accredited training to ensure that all of our staff are able to provide advice on sleep and wellbeing, as well as helping customers to make informed choices through their specialist product knowledge.”
The Family Business of the Year Awards are organised by Family Business United – the award-winning magazine and resource centre that champions and celebrates the family business sector.
Paul Andrews, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at Family Business United, said: “We were delighted to pull together such a vibrant bunch of family businesses for the 2017 awards – some that have succeeded for numerous generations and continue to thrive, and others that are relatively young, but have great values at the heart of what they do. Open to family firms of all generations, sizes and sectors, these awards recognise some outstanding family firms and really help to put family businesses on the map.”
Runcorn company Tall Security Print Ltd were Highly Commended for the Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year, sponsored by ESL Fuels and West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce at the High Sheriff of Cheshire Enterprise Awards, hosted by the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Kathy Cowell, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, Professor Tim Wheeler.
The Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year, sponsored by ESL Fuels and West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce, went to Laser Quantum Ltd, based in Stockport. Jennifer Szczepaniak Sloane, Senior Marketing Executive at Laser Quantum Ltd said: “Laser Quantum is extremely pleased to have won the Exporter award for 2016/17. It is testament to the quality of the products we manufacture and the hard work of all our staff. This recognition only further inspires us to continue to grow, by expanding into new territories and technologies.”
Laser Quantum Ltd will receive a bespoke package of support, to help research and develop overseas trade in one new market.
The Award for Training, Development and Opportunity for Young People, sponsored by Chess and Click Consult, was won by Stockport company Cheshire Scaffolds Ltd. The judges were looking for businesses who invest in the development of the skills of young people through the provision of training, apprenticeships and work experience.
Kevin Tottle, Contracts Director at Cheshire Scaffolds Ltd, said: “Cheshire Scaffolds Ltd are absolutely delighted to have been awarded Winner of the Training, Development and Opportunity for Young People Award for 2016/17. It is a real accolade and reflects all the hard work and commitment of our staff team across the whole of the business. We will continue to invest in our people and endeavour to make the most of the High Sheriff’s award.” Cheshire Scaffolds Ltd will receive £3,000 worth of prize money.
The Roberts Bakery Family Award of Excellence Award went to Malpas family firm, Barlows UK Ltd. Judges were looking for leaders of outstanding entrepreneurial families and the achievements of specific family businesses in Cheshire, Warrington and Halton. Barlows UK Ltd will receive £3,000 in prize money.
David Barlow, Director of Barlows UK Ltd, and an honorary graduate of the University of Chester, was also the recipient of one of two special awards given on the night. The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs MBE KstJ, presented him with a Special Recognition Award, commending him in particular for championing young people and apprentice schemes in particular. David is an Ambassador for the National Apprenticeship Service, advising employers of the benefits of training and employing young people across the North West, and promoting the advantages of apprenticeships within a National Ambassador Network.
As a Director of Barlows UK Ltd, a family-run business that provides property maintenance solutions across the UK, David has spearheaded the growth of five Academies and is personally involved in teaching over 120 apprentices.
David Barlow said: “I was honoured both for myself and on behalf of Barlows (UK) Ltd. to receive recognition at the wonderful award ceremony last Thursday evening. It is a great boost to our company and staff to be chosen for the family business award and I would like to thank all at the High Sheriff awards, the judges, the organisers and the sponsors. I would particularly like to thank Roberts Bakery for their kind sponsorship.”
The High Sheriff’s Award for Responsible Business Practice, sponsored by Your Housing Group, was deservedly won by Kawneer UK Ltd, who are based in Runcorn. The judging panel was looking for organisations that demonstrate a high standard of commitment in the way in which they organise and integrate their responsible business practices.
Managing Director, Phil Randles, said: “As a company, we are immensely proud and pleased to receive this award which reflects the many hours of commitment given by our employees to helping improve the local community and environment. Over the last 10 years, with the help of the Arconic Foundation our charitable giving arm, Kawneer UK has been able to support local charities with donations of more than £320,000 and our employees have given over 3,000 hours of service.” Kawneer UK will receive £3,000 in prize money.