The outlook looks good for Ridgeons in 2014 following the success of its new branches.
A strong outlook for Ridgeons
Published: 17 September, 2013
A year on since Ridgeons opened four new sites in the eastern region, managing director Angela Rushforth has confirmed that trading is on the up and the group is looking forward to a strong 2014.
Of the acquisitions Ridgeons made last year, three were former Build Center sites located in St Neots, St Ives and Bedford, and one was located in Royston.
"Opportunities across the three [former Build Center] branches have proved fruitful, with the investment across these sites paying dividends,” Ms Rushforth said. “Prior to acquisition, employees at these sites had experienced uncertainty and the branches were under investment. Consequently our priorities were to effectively address these key areas and make significant improvements.
"This included re-branding, re-merchandising, re-training, implementing new operating systems and the introduction of a defined customer retention strategy. Another fundamental part of the process was to ensure that all employees felt involved during the transition period. The teams at each of these sites had experienced close to three years of uncertainty and we felt it was crucial to the branches’ future success that this was appropriately managed.
"Across all three of the previous Build Centre branches we have retained a large proportion of the customer base and have improved the offering. Most recently, the Bedford branch has seen the opening of a new Ridgeons Timber Centre, providing a larger range and depth of quality timber stock, underpinned with fully trained and experienced employees on hand to offer expert advice.
"The transition has been challenging, but the outcomes have been hugely rewarding and that has largely been down to the supportive attitude of the branch teams. As recognition of the Ridgeons name in these areas grows, we are confident that our quality products, the expertise of our people and our high standards of service will continue to gain momentum.
"Royston had been earmarked as a potential growth area for the group for some time. So, as soon as the York Way site became available, we could immediately see the benefits that the location offered in meeting the existing and future needs of our customers."