Trade Resources Industry Views AIS Announces 2016 Award Winners

AIS Announces 2016 Award Winners

AIS Announces 2016 Award Winners

Buying group Associated Independent Stores (AIS) has announced its annual award winners, which were presented at the group's September furniture and furnishing accessories show.

In addition to the bed and bedroom cabinet supplier awards which were presented in April, AIS has announced its Gold Standard and supplier of the year awards in the upholstery and cabinet categories, as well as its member of the year accolades.

The Supplier of the Year award is voted for solely by AIS members. For the upholstery merchandise category, this year’s award went to German manufacturer Himolla for the first time. Himolla was delighted with the award, dedicating it to all the staff involved with the business. Mark Litterst, export manager, singled out the contribution made by furniture agent Mike Davies who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Alstons in Colchester came second in the voting, and Primavera from Poland picked up the third place award.

In the cabinet category, another German supplier, Venjakob, was voted Supplier of the Year, with second and third places going to Baker Furniture, and Denmark's Unique Furniture.

The Gold Standard awards are presented to suppliers that demonstrate a commitment to members in terms of product quality, deliveries and customer service. The 2016 winners are: Alstons, Ashley Manor, Ashwood Designs, Celebrity, Daro, Duresta, G-Plan Upholstery, Himolla, Parker Knoll, Primavera and Tetrad (upholstery); and Actona, Alf Uno Spa, Andrena, Baker Furniture, Jual Furnishings, TCH Furniture, UK-CF, Unique Furniture, Value Mark and Venjakob (cabinet).

The Member of the Year award denotes supplier recognition of the way in which retail members merchandise their stores and the manner in which they conduct their operations.

AIS has increased the number of member awards this year by splitting the larger turnover group category in two – one for single store retailers and one for multiple store retailers.

For the second year running, Stokers Group picked up the member of the year, Glasswells based in East Anglia came second and Sterling Furniture in Scotland came third.

Roomes of Upminster won the member of the year award in the single store category, with Arighi Bianchi of Macclesfield coming a close second and the recently refurbished Barkers Home Store in Northallerton third.

In the smaller turnover group, Ena Shaw in St Helens topped the list, ahead of Eyres of Chesterfield and Woods Furniture of Dorchester.

Peter Mallinson, merchandise director of AIS Home, comments: “The competition for both member of the year and supplier of the year was as 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."

The awards were presented on the first day of the AIS September furniture and furnishing accessories show, which was attended by a record number of members and suppliers and saw an unprecedented number of exclusive ranges launched for AIS members.

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Topics: Furniture