Sad farewell to first employee of NMBS

Published:  17 December, 2009

LEICESTER: Today, NMBS regretfully announced that former managing director John Tatton died recently following a brave fight against cancer.

Mr Tatton was the very first employee of NMBS (National Merchant Buying Society) back in 1964 and he went on to be its secretary and managing director for 28 years and retired in 1992, having played a major role in helping NMBS develop into what it is today, as a leading force for independents, with approx £500m turnover and 650 members with over 1900 branches.

Due to the Society’s rapid growth, in 1964, NMBS appointed Mr Tatton to negotiate with manufacturers on its behalf. He was later appointed secretary in October of that year and soon became indispensable, running the Society from a spare room at his home until a suitable rented office was found above a butcher’s shop in Evington, Leicester. Mr Tatton said in a previous interview: ‘We’d put the children to bed and then get out the books and start doing the accounts and preparing the statements to be sent out.’

The original Society was to be based in Nottingham, but because of Mr Tatton’s pivotal role, it ended up being based in Leicester, where it remains today.

During his 28 years with NMBS, by dint of hard work and persuasion, Mr Tatton’s pioneering efforts paid off splendidly. From the original 30 members in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester in the first five years the number rose to 90 members. And from a shoestring operation back in those early days, the turnover rose from zero to £155m.

NMBS has a lot to thank Mr Tatton for, for without his hard work and dedication to the Society we would not be what we are today. NMBS has grown over the last 46 years but still remains true to its original intention of ‘increasing the profitability of all its members.’

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