Jewson is the largest chain of British general builders' merchants, selling to small building contractors and the general public with over 400 branches across the country.

Jewson, as part of the Meyer group, was acquired by the French conglomerate Saint-Gobain in April 2000. [ [ Jewson case study ] ]


Geroge Jewson bought a business in Earith in 1836 to trade goods in the Huntingdonshire Fens of East Anglia. [ Norman Jewson] His son John Wilson Jewson had 13 children: the eldest, George, at the time working with a timber merchant in Norwich, suggested expansion there.John Jewson bought a house in Colegate in Norwich in 1868, and he moved there where he devleoped a successful timber and builders merchant business.

The family played a role in civic service in Norwich and Norfolk. Of his eight sons, Frank became a partner in a solicitors, Cozens-Hardy & Jewson. Richard Jewson (1867-1949) was Lord Mayor of Norwich and the firm became the largest timber merchants between the Thames and the Humber. Percy Jewson was Lord Mayor in 1934 and Liberal MP for Great Yarmouth during the Second World War.

And his son, Charles Jewson, son of Percy was a writer on the history of Norwich and its buildings and Lord Mayor in 1965.

Other distinguished members of the family include the Cotswold Arts and Crafts movement architect, Norman Jewson, and the Labour Party politician and Trade Union organiser, Dorothy Jewson, one of the party's first female Members of Parliament, who represented Norwich.

Another Richard Jewson was Managing Director and Chairman of the holding company for all the timer and merchants interests Meyer International Pl] until the purchase by Saint Gobain.

In 2001 Worldwide Business Information and Market Reports [] stated that "Having undergone a period of major consolidation, the builders’ merchants market is now dominated by Jewson Ltd (owned by Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Ltd), Wolseley and Travis Perkins...These top three companies each have total sales of over £1bn."

Currently sponsor Gloucester RFC of the Guinness Premiership.


On 14 May 2008 it was reported that Jewson had dismissed two members of staff and contacted police after an internal investigation revealed evidence of an alleged £1m fraud at the firm. []

Sales director Tony Newman and another unnamed employee had left the firm following claims of irregularities in the company's books.

In a statement Jewson said: "We can confirm that following an investigation by our internal audit department Tony Newman was dismissed from his role as sales director, on 18 April. In addition, one other person, who had been employed by Jewson for less than 2 weeks, has been dismissed as a result of our internal investigation. This matter, which relates to the fraudulent supply and procurement of marketing services, has now been passed to the police who are conducting a detailed investigation with our full cooperation and support."

ee also

*Norman Jewson
*Dorothy Jewson



* [ Evening News website accessed 2 April 2008]

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ New £600,000 store in North East]
* [ Sponsors of Gloucester Rugby Union Club]
* [ European Commission Press Release]
* [ Jewson sacks director in fraud probe]

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