Normans has been a major part of Jersey’s commercial life for 175 years. The company started in 1840 as a cooper then developed as a successful family concern to become the Island’s premier builders’ and agricultural merchants. Now part of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s top 100 industrial corporations, Normans continues to provide excellent local service with the added advantages of its international connections.
The history of Normans mirrors the changing fortunes of the Island. Making barrels for the fishing industry in the mid nineteenth century led to the making of barrels, baskets and trays for the booming tomato and potato industries of the early twentieth century. Those trading links with Scandinavian and other Baltic timber producers were invaluable when the Island needed building materials after the First World War. The company continued to develop and even found ways to keep trading during the Occupation of Jersey from 1940 until 1945. The construction industry overtook agriculture in importance during the 1950’s and 60’s and so the builders’ merchant side of the business grew.
In addition, the business expanded through acquisition, the most significant in 1986 was the purchase of Huelins which was then trading from its Five Oaks site. Normans has now consolidated its trading operations at Commercial Buildings and Five Oaks.
Normans Commercial Buildings comprise; Normans Hire, Timber Yard, Doors Showroom, Auto Marine, Trade Centre (plumbing and decorating) and The Building Centre; providing Tools, Plumbing, Tiles & Flooring, Kitchens, Lighting and housewares. It is also Normans Head Office and home to The Timber Frame department, who co-ordinate the design, supply and build of complete timber frame homes and large scale developments.
Normans Five Oaks is a substantial site based on the outskirts of town, enabling efficient storage and delivery of the largest stocks of timber and the full range of building materials. The site comprise; Normans Building Centre, Normans Timber Special Order Mill, unique in the Island, as well as fabrication facilities for Roof Trusses, Steel Reinforcement, Glass, and bespoke Fencing.
The very successful family firm was purchased by Saint-Gobain in 2007 and continues to trade as an independent brand for the UK’s largest group of builders merchants. Saint Gobain’s history goes back to 1665 when it was founded to manufacture glass and mirrors as the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs by Louis XIV. Saint-Gobain continues to manufacture glass today, but the enterprise also manufactures and distributes a wide variety of construction and high-performance materials and is the world leader in Sustainable Habitat. The group has sales of over 40 billion euros and a global workforce of over 190,000 in 64 countries.
Normans continues to offer the widest range of building materials and related products and services in the Channel Islands. Offering a one-stop-shop from the chimney pot to paving Normans have the expertise to get the job done right.