Bradfords celebrates 250th year

February 3, 2020

Bradfords Building Supplies is celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2020.

The company, which recently won Independent Builders Merchant of the Year at the Builders’ Merchants Awards, had a turnover of £150 million in 2019 and currently employs 700 staff across 42 branches.

David Young, CEO of Bradfords Building Supplies, who in the past five years has doubled company turnover, commented: “Bradfords has stood the test of time. We are a great British business success story. 

“The 250th anniversary is a time for celebration and also for reflection. In the past few months, we’ve questioned our customers, suppliers and team (past and present) to consider why the business has endured.

“The feedback has unanimously focused on the grassroots customer service that we provide for the local communities in which we operate. So, our focus for 2020 is to get even closer to our customers and put all our energy into being the best and easiest merchant to do business with.”

Giles Bradford, Communications & Engagement Manager at Bradfords Building Supplies and one of six Bradford family members currently working in the business, said: “In 1770, George III was on the throne and British Explorer, Captain James Cook discovered Australia. Also, my ancestor, William Bradford of Yeovil started a merchant business.

“A business that has witnessed the Industrial Revolution, survived two world wars, endured recessions, undergone significant diversifications, made numerous acquisitions and most critical to its success, always embraced innovation!

“During its 250-year history the company has pivoted, receded, grown and is currently going strong with 42 branches employing over 700 staff and a growing e-commerce offering.”

Bradfords will using this significant landmark as a platform to invest in initiatives that benefit and champion the trades:

  • Commitment to a partnership with Mental Health UK, with fundraising initiatives through Bradfords charity of the year scheme
  • Commitment to a partnership with trades charity Band of Builders to officially launch the charity in the South West.
  • Commissioning of a commemorative truck which will be supported by a community engagement project where local primary school children will name all LGVs in the Bradfords fleet. Through this initiative they will learn about careers in the trades and road safety.
  • Continued commitment to sponsorship of the Exeter Chiefs, accompanied by a grass roots rugby programme across the South West to encourage more young people into the sport.
  • Broadening support for South West apprentices beyond Yeovil and Weston Super Mare through the supply of materials and toolkits to South West colleges and customers with apprenticeship programmes.
  • Branch events for customers and suppliers throughout the year culminating in Bradfords Day, the official anniversary on 17th September 2020.