In this article, The IPG discuss the top five benefits of buying from and supporting one of their independent member stores:

In a recent survey of over 200 tradespeople at the 2023 installerSHOW, The IPG found that 28% of tradespeople said they already used an independent business to purchase from and it’s easy to see why, with many offering expert advice, readily available stock and unrivalled customer service. With locality, price and convenience being the top reasons why the trade shop where they do, there’s reason to see why independent merchants and showrooms are a considerable force for change within the industry.

The IPG was founded 10 years ago with one mission; to bring independent plumbing and heating stores, and bathroom showrooms together to give them a voice and a better chance to compete in a market full of challenges. Now, with a network of well over 200 independent stores and showrooms nationwide, the group has ensured that the trade can buy the best brands from a local independent member store, at great prices – proving there is strength in numbers.

Let’s investigate the real benefits to the trade when shopping with a local independent IPG member.

1. Friendly service full of expert knowledge

Nothing beats talking to an expert about an upcoming project, in an environment where you feel welcome and encouraged to see and feel products. Customer retention at an independent is high because of their satisfaction in delivering best-in-class service to all customers. If a job is complicated or goes wrong, having the merchant on your side and understanding your issues is far better than being left in the dark. Having the option to pop into or call your local independent member store, where you’ll find an expert on hand to help solve most dilemmas quickly and efficiently, can be a lifesaver.

2. Great prices and support to the local economy

A common myth is that “buying from an independent merchant will be more expensive”, now we can bust that myth. In most cases, this is the complete opposite and customers can be pleasantly surprised that they walk away with a competitively priced basket. Being part of a group like The IPG means the independent can compete with better deals through collective purchasing power. Alongside offering great prices, independent merchants will also recycle a much larger share of their business revenue back into the local economy, this creates new jobs alongside opportunities for their staff while enriching the whole local community that you work or live in.

3. Location is key

Watch your community thrive when you support local businesses. Many of The IPG members have stronger relationships with their customers, along with a deeper understanding of the localised area and the specific needs of plumbers. They usually stock products that are particularly relevant to their branch location, backed by insight into frequent demands within the area for specific job requirements. So, you’ll not be short of the essentials when pushed for time on major jobs.

4. Better stock and a wider range of products

Product price is something that we often see as a deal-breaker when it comes to why the trade shop where they do. However, an independent will go above and beyond to source the most efficient and cost-effective products – with a rapid turnaround. Most have quick access to the products that are needed and are not based on a national sales plan, therefore guaranteeing a broader range of products available for collection or speedy delivery.

5. Every sale is appreciated

In a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by large chains, all looking the same, independents bring much-needed variety and individuality onto the high street.

During the pandemic, the government encouraged people to shop locally and support smaller businesses. By adjusting your purchasing habits and shopping at an IPG member, you can really make a difference to a local brand and reward all the hard work that goes into running a friendly, local independent store or showroom. They really do appreciate every sale, a small change by you can make a world of difference to them.

In summary, why should you shop with local independent businesses like The IPG members?

Their unique advantages should make them a first choice. Buy the best brands at great prices. Shop independent.

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