The IPG was founded in the summer of 2013 by Robin Beal, when he identified there was a real need and an opportunity to strengthen and support independent businesses. It is now the largest and fastest growing membership group for plumbing, heating, and bathroom specialists, with a network of well over 100 suppliers and 200 member locations nationwide.

 In line with its stated vision of “supporting independents,” the group strives to make life for the independent as easy and as successful as possible, whilst enabling members customers to buy the best brands locally at great prices.

Some of The IPG’s members share their experiences of being part of the group:

Dorchester Plumbing supplies joined in October 2014, they liked the idea of being part of a group which was specifically set up for the smaller independent business and liked the ‘stronger together’ ethos. Dorchester’s customers also recognise the advantages of the business working alongside The IPG and are very positive about the many benefits it provides them, including competitive pricing with unrivalled service and advice. Steve Rolph said, “Working with The IPG gives us a voice that is heard a lot more clearly by our customers and a presence that is noticed”.

WMI Simpsons situated in Finchley, London, joined the IPG in 2015. As a family-run supplier of heating and bathroom products, Justin Protheroe, Sales Director was impressed with the passion the group demonstrated towards the independents. Recently, one of his customers commented on a favourable price that Justin was able to offer him saying that “it’s a better price than I can buy it elsewhere”, Justin responded that it was because he was part of The IPG, who negotiates with suppliers on behalf of all their members to get favourable prices that he can pass on.

ASE Plumbing & Heating Supplies is a well-established family-run and owned business that first opened its doors in 1988. Director, Adam Pearce, explains how The IPG has played a major part in its success story. “Over the past seven years, we have benefitted from several IPG strategies and initiatives, such as networking opportunities, marketing ideas and joint campaigns. The financial and business support The IPG has provided has been second to none. The group has also helped improve our online presence by providing us with a website that is easy to update from The IPG portal and is well supported by suppliers with offers and banners. The profile of the independent merchant has been raised massively thanks to The IPG. The scale and strength that can be achieved together have only been highlighted through being a member.”

JCA Plumbing and Heating Merchants based in Southend on Sea are a new member, joining in November 2020. Howard Slowley was attracted by the support The IPG could offer his business, and wanted to be all in on the marketing initiatives available from the start. He promptly started working with The IPG team on a dual-branded website and store in December 2020, in the belief that this will benefit his business and his competitive offering to his customers. “I am positive about the future now I am a member of The IPG. The group has already supported my business in creating a new brand identity, new store signage and we are working together on a dual-branded website, as our relationship develops, the only way is up.” Howard Slowley.

Central Plumbing and Bathroom Supplies in Knowle also joined the group at the end of 2020 and have similarly jumped in with two feet - dual branding their store and website. They are looking forward to a bright future. Scott O’Neil enthuses “We have new members of staff coming on board very soon and new displays being installed so with the market ready to explode, I am very positive that our business will thrive in 2021 and beyond and I’m sure together we can succeed.”

So, in summary, why should you discover your nearest independent member of The IPG today? They have unique advantages that cannot be found in more larger operations, they have exceptional product knowledge, are willing to go that extra mile to support their customers, can offer the best brands at great prices and most importantly, they have the human touch.

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