29 October 2023

Mica held its annual ‘Mica Exchange’ gathering over the weekend of 16th - 17th September at the picturesque Peebles Hydro Hotel & Spa in the Scottish Borders.

The Exchange is an invitation-only event taking place in a different part of the UK each year that brings together Mica's independent retailer members and preferred suppliers for: -

  • One-on-one speed dating meetings
  • Networking opportunities & relationship building
  • Special on-the-day deals
  • Social aspects to bond the co-operatives members, with each other and in the cause of working for mutual benefit

We returned the Exchange to Scotland for the second time, and got a great response both verbally and on our feedback forms, with the ‘on a scale of 1-10 rating’ giving the event a 9.2/10 average for all attendees,


Adrian Bates, David Morris and Phil Rowley of Draper Tools accepting the Supplier of the Year award


Some feedback from those who attended:

Victoria Brown, of Coopers of Pickering Mica, called the Mica Exchange ‘a fantastic networking event with opportunities to meet new suppliers’.

Katherine Williams of Halls Mica Hardware, Chapel-en-le-Frith noted it was ‘great to meet other store owners and suppliers in person’.

Attending supplier and main event sponsor Jeremy Ireland-Jones of Rodo commented they were “already looking forward to next year after a top-quality event.” He added the meetings with Mica members provided “great company and a packed appointment sheet to discuss business over.”

First-time attendee as new account manager Vinny Ibrams of RKW, who later went on to receive the 2023 Customer Service Excellence Award at the Mica Awards noted the event ‘ran like clockwork and was very well organised’.

Another new account manager, Matt Jackson of Smart Garden noted the event “was well attended and there was great engagement with the Mica members.”


Carl and Darren Edwards, Laura Rees and Lynne Hopwood of Tollgate Mica & Su-BridgeI

On the evening members and suppliers gathered for Mica’s annual Black Tie Gala Dinner & Awards evening. We held a raffle during the dinner raising over £1045 + Gift Aid (a further extra 25%) for Industry Charity, and Mica’s partner charity The Rainy Day Trust.

The evening's big award winners were Draper Tools, who won Supplier of the Year, and Ian & Paul Walker – Walkers Mica Hardware, Dunoon, who won our most prestigious award, Co-operative Spirit, given for the first time this year to two people. who embody Mica and represent the cooperative as a business in helping it move forward, grow, and go beyond the necessary in day-to-day activity.


Walkers Mica accepting Cooperative Spirt Award with Mica Business Unit Director Michael Ball (center)


Michael Ball, Business Unit Director, MICA made the following comments on the event: 

“The Exchange is the outcome of a lot of hard work, the small Mica team really pull together to make the event happen, and they deserve a lot of credit.

When we see the results it makes the months of planning and preparation worth it, Members and suppliers alike really enjoy the exchange, and it both reminds and grounds me year after year what Mica is all about – us all working through cooperation to achieve shared success.

It also assures me there is still a place for in-person business; technology has its place but when it’s done right, there are big benefits to face-to-face meetings and selling.”

Whilst only Mica member retailers are invited to attend the Exchange, several new faces joined the attendees this year making it one of the best-attended events in a decade.

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