Robin Beal, Managing Director of The IPG, outlines the benefits gained from visiting an independent merchant.

A job has just come in and you need new parts and equipment. Here's a quick checklist of what’s likely important to you - products in stock and well-priced, reputable suppliers, and knowledgeable staff in case you have questions. Well, I’d wager you will get ticks against all of these when you visit an independent merchant.

Independent merchants offer an in-depth, knowledgeable service. Many have been in the trade themselves so know their way around a U-bend! Some have been in business for decades, meaning that knowledge is carefully passed on from generation to generation and their reputation is outstanding. You will also be supporting a local business in your community.

Location is another plus. If you search your local area for independent plumbing, heating and bathroom specialists - you will be surprised to find how many might be near you. Trust in the fact they will offer a higher quality, tailored service and can react to your needs because they are close by.

Independent companies pride themselves on their customer service. If something goes wrong and one of the products you’ve purchased turns out to be faulty, you can be safe in the knowledge that they will do everything they can to resolve the issue, both quickly and efficiently. Staff will be on hand to offer unbiased, expert advice through a simple phone call or instore visit – without having to wait on an automated call for ages or talk to a chatbot.

There are also benefits for your local area. By choosing an independent you are directly supporting its growth. Local businesses invest in local training, meaning more jobs for local people. There is also a high chance the entrepreneurs who own the business will be spending their hard-earned cash in other local shops, businesses and amenities, contributing to the local economy.

I’ll leave you with this. For your next job, no matter how big or small, pop down to your local independent plumbing, heating and bathroom specialist and experience these benefits for yourself. Believe me, you will be pleased you did!

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