Five bed industry champions were celebrating last night as they scooped the top awards at the National Bed Federation (NBF) Bed Show Gala Dinner in Telford.

The winners were Kaymed UK for Bed Manufacturer of the Year; Vitafoam for Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Mattress Online for Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover); Sussex Beds for Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover). The Judges Choice award went to national retailer, Dreams.

Now in their sixth year, the highly sought after awards are designed to recognise the companies considered as ‘best in class’ over the past 12 months.

The winners were chosen, from a bumper crop of entries, by an independent panel of judges which consisted of editors from the industry’s trade journals (Keely Portway, Cabinet Maker; Richard de Melim, Furnishing Report; Paul Farley, Furniture News; Andrew Kidd, Interiors Monthly) along with Bernard Eaton, md of Greenwood Retail.

The awards were announced to the winners by Marcus Brigstocke at the Bed Show’s Gala Dinner (20th September) at the Telford International Centre.

This year’s Bed Manufacturer of the Year prize went to Kaymed UK which was praised for its winning strategy of product innovation, substantial marketing investment and impressive sales results across a range of retail customers.

Runner up in this hotly contested category was the Steinhoff Bedding Group, which deserved recognition for placing great emphasis on investment in new fleet and warehousing, training amongst its employees and driving sales points upwards.

Winning Bed Component Supplier of the Year was Vitafoam. With manufacturer testimonials speaking volumes for its Revo concept plus a sustained investment in plant made Vitafoam a worthy winner.

Praise was given to John Cotton Nonwoven division which came highly commended in the category for taking the lead on sustainable manufacturing and continuing high standards.

Scooping Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover) was Mattress Online. Showing demonstrable top and bottom line performance with average order values rising, the judges also recognised the high customer feedback despite operating in the value segment market.

Runner up went to Bensons for Beds which continues to lead the market and show steady improvement and refreshment while also making significant investment in training.

Competition was strong for the Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover) category with entries from up and down the country.

Winner of this year’s award went to Hailsham-based Sussex Beds which was chosen for its sheer determination in turning around a business with falling sales and footfall. This family owned company took drastic steps to change its approach and challenge the directors to drive the business forward and it has succeeded. It’s now a retailer that is consistently producing great figures, improved its branding and is set to expand further.

Sound Sleep, based in Diss, Norfolk, came second for showcasing how a ‘shop in a field’ can drive business forward with great marketing initiatives.

And finally, new for this year, the Judges Choice award went to Dreams. The award, based on one outstanding element of an entry, was given in recognition of the company’s multi-million pound ‘Replace Every Eight’ marketing campaign which has not only increased like for like performance and changed consumer perception but has also benefited the whole industry.

Said Ebrahim Patel, president of the NBF: “Now in their sixth year, the bed industry awards are the pinnacle of excellence and this year the competition was stronger than ever with the quality of entries improving year-on-year, giving the judges an ever harder task. Once again the awards demonstrate that the bedding industry has some brilliant companies doing very brilliant things – and it’s great to be a part of that. Well done to our winners!”