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Interiors Monthly Awards 2019

IMawards19winnersThe winning retailers are revealed. 

Best Flooring Retailer (1-3 stores): AJ Rogers & Sons

Best Furniture Retailer (1-3 stores): David Salmon

Best Flooring Retailer (4+ stores): SCS

Best Furniture Retailer (4+ stores): Dreams

Best Online Retailer: Argos

AJ Rogers & Sons was founded by Anthony Rogers in 1966 and is now run by his sons Peter and Trevor. The Bromley, Kent retailer places a great emphasis on service. ‘We will serve you. You may feel “serve” is an old-fashioned term, but it genuinely describes what we do best. As customer service champions ourselves, we are very fussy about which suppliers we work with. So only the best suppliers are good enough. Quite simply, you need a floor you can rely on,’ it says. AJ Rogers & Sons offers a full range of flooring products and services, including a restoration service.

David Salmon Furnishers has been trading in Eastbourne for more than 40 years. It was started by David Salmon and is now run by his son, Paul. The company has become well known in the area for quality, good service and expert advice, from people who know their trade, offering a mix of traditional and contemporary furniture across three floors. In 2013 it opened a branch in nearby Cross in Hand, specialising in contemporary European designs.

ScS has repeated its achievement of 2018 by retaining its Best Flooring Retailer (4+ stores) award. After increasing flooring sales and average order values in 2017/2018, the chain’s growth continued, increasing by 1.4% to £21.6m and by 3.1% to £697 respectively in the six months to 26 January 2019. It has completed a refurbishment of the flooring departments in all of its stores, modernising the look and feel and improving POS. It has also invested in improved training for staff for an improved customer experience. The chain says it is confident its offer and market share can continue to grow in the medium and longer term.

Dreams retained the award it won in 2018. It saw pre-tax profits rise by 11.7% to £32.7m in the year to 24 December 2018. Sales rose by 2.9% to £309m. Pre-tax margin rose from 10.1% to 11%. Like for like sales growth slowed from 3.3% to 1.9%. The 198 store group saw net cash rose from £11.4m to £22.7m. ‘2018 was a challenging year for the UK retail market. We have remained focused on providing an excellent range of products at the right price point which, coupled with our healthy balance sheet, means that we have had the flexibility to adapt to market conditions. This approach has served us well throughout the year and has seen us continue to invest across both our online and physical store estate. As a result, we are proud to have delivered our fifth year of continued sales and profit growth,’ says Mike Logue, Dreams ceo.

Argos.co.uk is the UK’s third most visited website, with around a billion hits a year. More than half of the retailer’s sales originate online and around 120 million customer transactions take place in stores each year. Its market-leading same-day Fast Track delivery service is available to more than 90% of UK postcodes, seven days a week, and Fast Track Collection offers free-of-charge pick-up from any store in as little as 60 seconds.

It sells 60,000 products through its website, mobile channels, 850plus stores and over the telephone. Argos is the UK’s top toy retailer and a market leader in homeware and electrical products.