Merritt & Fryers Ltd
Building a household name for supplies with merit
Merritt & Fryers has become a well-loved household name in Skipton and the surrounding area. Celebrating its 85th birthday this autumn, the firm has been the professionals’ choice for builders merchants supplies since 1935 and remains a genuine independent family business.
Still situated among former mill buildings near the centre of Skipton, it covers 3.5 acres and is the largest of its kind in North Yorkshire. It is unique in providing the complete range of resources for both professional tradesmen and DIY enthusiasts.
Rachel Fryers, one of four original family descendants still managing the firm today explains: “We have listened to our customers for three generations to become award-winning builders merchants providing a complete one-stop shop. We’re definitely here to stay on Firth Street and plan to continue evolving to serve both our loyal tradesmen and home-owners looking for help in maintaining and improving their properties.”
Renowned for providing friendly expertise along with materials, the comprehensive Merritt & Fryers offering includes a timber yard (overseen by Robert Fryers), building supplies, plumbing and heating department (under Andrew Merritt), ironmongery, hardware, garden and landscape supplies, and a DIY, tile showroom and decorating centre with wallpaper books to browse and paint-mixing to order.
The site also features a bespoke joinery and fitting service for doors, windows, staircases, outdoor furniture and specialist items, a stove showroom showcasing leading brands including ESSE, and an extensive bathroom design centre featuring more than 30 traditional and state-of-the-art displays at any one time.
Well trained staff are valued as the key to Merritt & Fryers’ success. A key employer in the town, around 50 experienced sales staff, expert trades people, talented joiners, delivery drivers and office staff work here. By offering unparalleled one-to-one customer service, this talented workforce is respected for offering useful advice, tips and product guidance. By talking to each customer, whether that is a professional tradesman or the novice DIY fixer-upper, the aim is to ensure everyone is sold the right materials and products for doing a first-rate job.
Family member and decorating department guru Paul Fryers explains: “We purposefully always stock the leading brand of each product line, as our reputation can only be as good as the products we sell. We offer budget alternatives too, but we are scrupulously careful not to sell inferior goods which are unfit for purpose. One example is paint - we sell certain makes, such as Dulux, which meet the standards required by professionals, rather than cheaper alternatives which lead to a poor finish and often need extra coats.”
Merritt & Fryers is a valued advocate of the local community, providing valuable sponsorship support for agricultural shows, cultural events and several sports clubs. Director Rachel Fryers is newly appointed to the board of Skipton BID and is keen to champion the town’s sustainable development plans in that role.
The firm’s reputation does not end in Skipton, however; Merritt & Fryers is also respected by its industry peers. Last year Merritt & Fryers outshone the competition to triumph in the national Builders Merchants Awards category known in the trade as ‘Lightside’, for innovative display and sales of decorating supplies. The business is now also championed by the Builders Merchants Federation as the face of best practice in training.
Environmentally savvy, Merritt & Fryers is committed to reducing waste across the business and continually developing its environmental policy. The firm supplies a wide range of ethical materials appropriate for use in a National Park, such as timber from sustainable sources and Ecodesign Ready, DEFRA approved wood burning stoves. The paint spray booth in the bespoke joinery workshop now uses natural water-based products without chemicals and the firm has switched to environmentally-friendly carrier bags made from sugar cane.
So what’s next, we asked? “That’s down to our customers; to continue to ‘build it, fix it and finish it’ with us!” says Rachel Fryers.
Merritt & Fryers Ltd
Firth Street, Skipton BD23 2PX