MTA 2021 winner Business Exc

Tim Gibson, sales director of Hireco (second right), presents the trophy to Lee Thompson-Halls, national fleet manager (third right) and the team at Wren Kitchens with host Alexander Armstrong (far left)

Wren Kitchen’s strategic plans were impeded by the pandemic, but its business model enabled it to embrace the challenges, implement Covid-safe procedures, employ and train 123 new delivery drivers, and keep on track. The kitchen retail giant delivered 96,296 kitchens and increased turnover by 18% when non-food retail sales fell 5%.

The company relentlessly scrutinises itself and others to identify weaknesses, opportunities and strengths, and continues to introduce game-changing initiatives, streamline its practices, and provide greater employee motivation and development. It also maintains high levels of safety and compliance.

Wren has achieved consecutive year-on-year growth (turnover rising from £77,700 in 2009 to £703m in 2020) and in 2020 delivered 99.95% of kitchens on time and in full.

Last year, it opened the UK’s largest IT centre and 12 new showrooms (total 102), providing hundreds of new jobs. It also opened its first showroom in the USA.

Efficiency savings in 2020 amounted to £2.8m while achieving a 33% reduction in road miles via its innovative TripleTrunking strategy.

Wren also produced 15% less CO2 emissions during the year and accident frequency was down 50% to 11.11%. This was put down to new, more efficient trucks with better safety features. Personal accidents were down 92% and less than 1% of goods were found to be damaged for the third consecutive year.

Wren also launched three new Quartz facilities, five new outbases and 13 new double-deck trunking units, cutting delivery times by up to six weeks, halving road miles and environmental impact and recycling water and waste products.

The company opened a new £4m depot in Avonmouth, providing 60% more capacity and improving access to the South West.

Our judges said it had produced an outstanding entry. “They fell on their feet with the pandemic and reacted very fast,” one said. “Wren’s financial performance is amazing,” commented another.

"I’m speechless, it’s a very proud moment, it has been won from the very top, all the way from the bosses right down to the driver, and of course our customers for believing in us and trusting us"

Lee Thompson-Halls, national fleet manager, Wren Kitchens