BMF News

BMF Responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

27 October 2021

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.


However, the BMF welcomed today’s announcement of more investment in further education, which will help promote a low-carbon skills revolution.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said:

“With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference less than a week away, we believe a National Retrofit Strategy is the best way to tackle an urgent national infrastructure priority - namely to improve the energy and thermal performance of homes - especially with rising gas prices adding to pressure on household bills.

“The BMF and others involved in property RMI put together the Construction Leadership Council’s 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes; an investment of £5.3 billion over the next 4 years to tackle emissions.

“Today’s news means international visitors arriving in Glasgow will see a missed opportunity to decarbonise by doing something simple - upgrading homes properly”.

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Welcoming Government support for further education as part of a low-carbon skills revolution, John Newcomb also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, saying:

““The BMF is a strong believer in the parity of esteem between academic education and vocational training - so today’s announcement of more investment in further education, with employers and local colleges at the fore-front of the Chancellor’s Skills Revolution, is very welcome.

“Apprenticeships are the established way into most crafts & trades we need now, and in future. But the Apprenticeship Levy is not working as it should and must be reformed to offer employers and learners a better experience. With numbers falling, significant sums of employer contributions remain unspent and are going straight to the Treasury. 

“To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make.”
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.

BMF drives net zero agenda at Parliamentary Reception

21 October 2021

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary
Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacturers.


With the theme Building a Sustainable Britain, the reception showcased some of the latest products developed by BMF’s supplier members that will help create the low carbon homes the country needs if we are to achieve the government’s net zero aim by 2050.


The BMF event was held on the same day the government announced its Heat and Buildings Strategy which outlined plans to drive down the cost of clean energy, including £5,000 grants for those replacing gas boilers with heat pumps to help decarbonise their homes, as well as a range of other measures.
Speaking at the event, both Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Secretary of State for Housing and Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets acknowledged the vital role the building materials industry will play in the development and delivery of heat pumps, insulation and other new technologies required to drive down carbon emissions, expressing the government’s commitment to supporting the building supply chain to build more skills and more homes.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, said: “It is clear that we cannot achieve net zero without addressing the building environment, and our homes in particular. Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. The vast majority are heated by gas, and many are not well insulated.  We welcome today’s announcement to support the start of the decarbonisation of our homes with a three-year grant programme to help homes suited to the technology to transition to heat pumps, but with 28 million existing homes to upgrade sustained longer-term support will be required.”


The BMF thanks UK Construction Week, headline sponsor for this Parliamentary Reception. The BMF also thanks those exhibiting at the event: Fernox, JCB, Marsh Industries, Midland Lead, Rockwool, Velux, Weinerberger, Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Grundfos Pumps, Knauf Insulation, Mannok, Polypipe Civils and PPG.

 
The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) unveiled its new “Race to Zero” policy document at a Parliamentary Reception attended by 140 guests including members of both houses of parliament as well as builders merchants and building materials manufacture

New team elected to head BMF Young Merchants


18 October 2021

Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to replace Jo as Vice Chair.

Jo takes over from Glenn Paddison, who completed his term as Chair at the BMF Young Merchant Conference held this year at the NEC, Birmingham during National Construction Week and attended by 150 people.

Jo has been an active member of the Young Merchant Group for seven years, serving as Vice Chair since 2018.  She joined the Group after winning the BMF Young Supplier Achiever Award in 2014, just a year after she entered the building materials industry as a member of Knauf Insulation’s Merchant Support Team. Jo continued to work closely with merchants in her subsequent roles at Knauf Insulation as Area Sales Manager and National Merchant Support Manager. She was promoted to her current role in 2020.  
 
Jo is keen to continue developing the BMF Young Merchant’s work and influence. She said:

“I am delighted and honoured to take on the role of Chair and looking forward to working with Ed to build on all that Glenn achieved during his chairmanship. The current drive to achieve net zero makes this a particularly exciting time, offering even more opportunities for young people entering the industry. I know from my own experience how the interaction within the Young Merchant Group helps members as they build their careers. Our focus will be on delivering quality events to support this.”

Vice Chair, Ed Parlato, is currently involved in the purchasing side of Browns an independent, family run merchants in Derby, but has tackled many other roles in the business over the years. He is also part of the NBG Category Management team for tools and workwear.

Commenting on his appointment as Vice Chair, Ed said:

“The Young Merchant group has grown enormously in the past few years. When I first joined there were 20 people at the meeting, the latest Conference had over 150. Every Chair has built on the work of the last and I’m looking forward to working with Jo and supporting her over the next two years, and I will be listening to members of the group to make sure their views are represented. If the last 18 months has shown us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. I always marvel at the intelligence and creativity of all the people in Young Merchants, and I hope I can capture part of that to share with the wider industry.”

The BMF Young Merchant Group supports merchants and suppliers aged between 18 and 40 in their career development. Membership is open to those holding a key management position within their organisation. They benefit from twice yearly meetings and networking events, and an annual fact-finding trip, normally overseas.

For further information on the BMF Young Merchant Group contact [email protected]
 
Jo Callow, Head of Communications for UK & Ireland at Knauf Insulation is the new Chair of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Young Merchant Group. She will be supported by Ed Parlato, Buyer at Browns Builders Merchants, who was elected to rep

BMF's Covid response wins multiple Awards 

 

14 October 2021

The BMF support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.  

The BMF’s entry covering “Getting Merchants Back to Business” won the overall Award for the Best Membership Support during Covid 19 (under 800 members) category. The merchant industry’s trade body also gained a bronze award for the Best Covid 19 Response (under 4000 members) category, where their entry focussed on the success of the industry’s PPE appeal in support of the NHS.

The Association Excellence Awards, which have been run annually since 2014, celebrate and encourage the vital work undertaken by associations, trade organisations, unions and professional organisations, for and on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed. 

Awarding the BMF the prize for Best Membership Support during Covid 19, the judges highlighted the Federation’s structured and impactful approach, the level and range of support given to members during the pandemic including comprehensive Branch Operating Guidelines, as well as the appreciative feedback from members. 

The BMF’s success in the Association Excellence Awards, comes hot on the heels of its Highly Commended award for Member Support during Covid 19 at the Memcom Awards.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Our members are at the heart of everything we do so I am absolutely delighted that these awards are for our work on their behalf throughout the pandemic. We have some great people working for the BMF and I’m extremely proud to see the hard work and achievements of the whole team recognised in this way.”

The Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) support for members during the Covid pandemic scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards.

Hundreds of Travis Perkins apprentices join IoBM 


06 October 2021

Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IOBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

More than 800 Travis Perkins apprentices joined the IOBM on 1 October 2021. New apprentices joining Travis Perkins will also be given the opportunity to join the Institute.

Student members benefit from the IOBM’s role as an independent accreditation body and its structured framework for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Bi-annual conferences for student members are also planned and due to begin in autumn 2022.

Unlike most employers, Travis Perkins is an accredited provider of apprenticeships with over 40 apprenticeship programmes on offer, suited to a wide range of candidates. These include existing employees who want to develop their skills or build expertise in other areas as they progress to new roles, as well as those joining the industry, either from school or university or migrating over to an apprenticeship having joined the business from the Government’s Kickstarter programme, or those switching from a former occupation and joining the sector later in their careers.

Andy Rayner, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers for Travis Perkins Group, said:

“We pride ourselves on providing a full range of apprenticeships from the branch counter to the Boardroom. Our apprenticeships are designed to support existing employees as well as individuals with no prior knowledge of our industry or our business, to give them the skills they need to become valued colleagues.  

“This is very much in line with the ethos of the IOBM and by introducing our apprentices to the Institute as student members, they will be able to assess how active membership can support them as they continue to develop their careers. We asked our 1,000 apprentices if they wanted to become members of the IOBM and we were delighted that the vast majority did.”

Announcing the news at the Builders Merchants Federation’s Young Merchant Conference, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said:

“The IOBM Management Committee set a membership target of 1,000 new members by the end of the year. With the support of Travis Perkins, we will achieve this by the end of October. 

“It is particularly encouraging to see the largest builders’ merchant in the UK bringing such a significant number of new recruits to the industry into membership. Through accreditation and CPD the IOBM has set out a pathway to professionalism in the merchanting industry which can support them through their entire career. We hope others will now follow this example.”

The IOBM merged with the BMF earlier this year and operates as a separate brand of the BMF, with its own management body. The IOBM has a clear aim to become a Chartered Institute, supporting the highest standards of professionalism within the industry.  
 
Travis Perkins has become the first national merchant to support The Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IoBM) ambitious plans to professionalise the merchant industry by signing up a large number of its apprentices as student members.

More BMF members become net zero Business Champions

 

5 October 2021

A further five BMF members were amongst the ten companies announced today as net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero initiative. 

Velux, Forktruck Solutions, The Pallet LOOP, Genuit Group and Marshalls plc achieved Business Champion status in the fourth wave of monthly applications. This brings the total number of BMF net zero Business Champions to eighteen.

Velux launched its 2030 Sustainability Strategy in September 2020. The 15 point plan targets Velux becoming a net zero business by 2030, and reducing the embodied carbon in its products and thus its supply chain by 50%. By 2041 they have committed to become Lifetime Carbon Neutral and also to repay their historic carbon footprint.

Diesel emissions are a key area of concern for Forktruck Solutions, and they have committed to scrap fossil fuels completely from their field sales vehicle fleet, opting for full EV.  They also have a mission to convert every relevant business in the UK to use Lithium powered material handling equipment and forklift trucks.

Net zero is central to The Pallet LOOP’s business. Due to launch in Q4 2001, and for operational roll-out in 2022, this brand new, circular economy deposit-based pallet reuse scheme is founded on the premise of recover, repair, reuse.  Less than 10% of the 18 million pallets distributed throughout the UK construction industry every year are currently reused. The Pallet LOOP is on a mission to change this, repositioning pallets as a valuable resource that can be used again and again, actively eliminating avoidable waste from the supply chain. 

Genuit Group manufactures low energy ventilation systems including a wide range of mechanical ventilation and heat recovery solutions. The group is actively engaged in developing new products and solutions which will allow the UK to scale up the transition to low carbon heat sources. This includes scaling the use of heat pumps, developing solutions to enable local heat networks and infrastructure solutions for hydrogen transmission.

Marshalls plc has been working to drive carbon out of their operations since 2008. By 2020 they had reduced their carbon footprint by 50%, during a period of significant growth, and have committed to reducing emissions by a further 40% by 2030. They are constantly looking for ways to reduce the embodied carbon of their products and have replaced at least 45% of cement in their concrete blocks, and as much as 60% at some sites.  

 The five BMF members were amongst 10 organisations confirmed in the fourth wave of CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, the others being Arup, Baxall Construction, Ferrovial Construction, GKR Scaffolding Ltd and Bam Nuttall. 

The CLC is running an ongoing monthly recruitment drive for more companies to commit to CO2nstruct Zero as Business Champions. If any BMF member would like to be considered, please email [email protected] in the first instance.
 
A further five BMF members were amongst the ten companies announced today as net zero carbon Business Champions supporting the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero initiative.

Martin Bayfield to co-host BMF All Industry Conference

 

4 October 2021

England rugby forward and tv presenter, Martin Bayfield will be one of two hosts for the 2021 BMF All Industry Conference which takes place in York and Harrogate in November.

Martin Bayfield will now share duties with previously announced host, tv and radio presenter Jason Mohammad, with Jason hosting Friday’s Conference sessions and Martin presiding on Saturday.  

Martin will also compere the live auction at Saturday’s Gala Dinner, where he will have no problem spotting those bidding.  At 6’10”, Martin is likely to be the tallest man in the room; he even doubled as a giant during filming of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  

In the 1990s Martin used his height to full advantage as one of England’s most potent forwards, winning 31 caps and two Grand Slams. Since retiring he has become an established member of the BT Sport and ITV Sport commentary teams as well as fronting a range of other programmes and displaying his own culinary skills on Celebrity MasterChef. 

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “We are looking forward to a fantastic conference with two brilliant hosts each with their own sporting backgrounds, with Jason also known for his football and Olympics broadcasts. I can’t wait to welcome a full house of delegates to what promises to be a superb event.”

The sold-out, dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Harrogate and York from 4-7 November 2021. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk

The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group. Other key sponsors include the Conference Host sponsor ACO, plus BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.

 
England rugby forward and tv presenter, Martin Bayfield will be one of two hosts for the 2021 BMF All Industry Conference which takes place in York and Harrogate in November.

BMF names Band of Builders as new charity partner 

 

24 September 2021 

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has nominated Band of Builders as its charity partner for 2022.  Band of Builders provides practical assistance to support members of the construction industry and their families who are faced with life changing or limiting circumstances.

Founded in 2016, fuelled by one man’s desire to help a friend in his hour of need, it has become a national charity run by and for those working in the building industry, whether as a tradesperson or a merchant.  Over the last five years Band of Builders has completed projects in England, Scotland and Wales and will undertake its first in Northern Ireland early in 2022.  In addition, the charity’s latest Big Brew campaign will both raise awareness and fund a new range of mental health support services for supply chain companies, small businesses and the self-employed. 

Gavin Crane, chair of the board of trustees for Band of Builders said: “We are truly excited to announce this partnership with the BMF, particularly as our Big Brew Mental Health campaign launches in October, adding another dimension to our support for the industry.”

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “We are delighted to support Band of Builders as our charity partner for the coming year.  Since its formation it has shown how much can be achieved when people unite to help others.  Their ethos, summed up by the charity’s strapline ‘Together Stronger’, is very similar to that of the BMF. After the challenges we have all faced over the past 18 months, we are looking forward to fund-raising with our members to support the work of Band of Builders.”

 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has nominated Band of Builders as its charity partner for 2022. Band of Builders provides practical assistance to support members of the construction industry and their families who are faced with life changin

Final speakers announced for BMF Young Merchant Conference


17 September 2021

The final two speakers, Sam McAlister and Nyasha Pitt at this year’s BMF Young Merchants Conference are both experts in communications but will focus on very different aspects of the art in their presentations.

Sam, a former barrister, turned to journalism after a successful career in criminal law. As interviews producer on BBC2’s flagship news programme, Newsnight, she used her negotiation skills to build trust and secure head-to-head pieces with World Leaders, Silicon Valley CEOs, Hollywood stars and, most famously, HRH Prince Andrew.  

Sam worked closely with the programme’s journalists to develop the right questions for these carefully planned features - questions that would not be met with rejection or hostility, whilst still being searching and relevant to the audience.  She examines the persuasion, compromise and empathy required to develop trust, understand who you are dealing with and what they’ll be prepared to agree to.

Nyasha is a creative, commercial communicator with more than two decades’ experience working both in-agency and in-house supporting diverse industries and sectors from Butlins to English Heritage, National Express to The London Taxi Company and Land Securities to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. 

Passionate about creativity, networking, personal development, diversity and inclusion, and volunteering, in 2019 Nyasha launched iDNetwork, a business network for Black professionals. She is a seasoned panellist, an energetic and engaging public speaker and an accredited Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner.

With the theme, “Building the Next Generation”, the BMF Young Merchant Conference is designed to encourage, inspire and enthuse.  Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October 2021, the event is being held in connection with UK Construction week and will include a visit to the Build Show on site.  In addition to a full day’s business programme the BMF Young Merchant Conference features an evening social event at the Sky Loft within the Park Regis Hotel which enjoys unparalleled views over the City of Birmingham.

Registration for the BMF Young Merchant Conference is now open at www.bmf.org.uk/events  

The headline sponsor for the BMF Young Merchant Conference is Knauf Insulation.
 
The final two speakers, Sam McAlister and Nyasha Pitt at this year’s BMF Young Merchants Conference are both experts in communications but will focus on very different aspects of the art in their presentations.

BMF sponsors Dragon’s Den for net zero solutions

 
 7 September 2021
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is sponsoring a £1,000 prize for the winner of a Dragon’s Den style competition to accelerate the construction sector’s drive to net zero.  

Launched today by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, the competition is targeted at young professionals in the industry to provide support to accelerate practical ideas which are almost ready for implementation on sites or in factories, and which may be suitable for wider industry adoption.

In addition to the cash prize, the winning candidate will receive support from a CLC member to develop and implement their proposal into the sector and a 12-month mentoring arrangement with a CLC Business Leader.

The Dragon’s Den judging panel, chaired by Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s net Zero Business Champion and comprising both industry and climate experts, will hear presentations from short-listed candidates mid-October, with the winner announced prior to COP26.
 
John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, and a member of the seven-person judging panel, said:

“The drive to zero carbon will be the single biggest challenge for the next decade and its success will be a defining factor for those who are now in the early stages of their construction career.  The BMF is pleased to support this exciting competition, and we look forward to seeing innovative and practical proposals coming forward from young professionals."

For more information about the competition and to submit your proposal, visit the CLC website . Entries must be received by midnight on 28 September 2021.
 


The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is sponsoring a £1,000 prize for the winner of a Dragon’s Den style competition to accelerate the construction sector’s drive to net zero.

Haulage a priority for BMF


3 September 2021

Haulage a priority for BMFNew data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK. 

A snap survey of BMF members found 67% of builders’ merchant respondents and 86% of supplier respondents are affected by haulage issues, citing it as their number one concern.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

“Haulage, and in particular the shortage of HGV drivers, has become our industry’s number one concern, and the results of our member survey have been fed into discussions between the transport industry and government.

“Some suppliers are reporting that the standard five-day lead time has more than doubled. In some cases, we are even seeing increases of up to four weeks. We have heard reports that suppliers are asking merchants to collect orders as they cannot get enough drivers to complete deliveries.

“Driver recruitment is the main challenge. Both suppliers and merchants are prepared to recruit or retrain existing staff as drivers, but there are limited opportunities for training and testing.  They want more testing to be made available to help get new HGV drivers on the road.”

The issue is not confined to the building materials industry.  The Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and tax changes have contributed to haulage challenges, with transport industry bodies estimating a shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers, with an estimated 15,000 lost following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Logistics UK’s May 2021 tracker survey found 61% of respondents considered recruitment of HGV drivers to be a ‘severe’ or ‘very severe’ challenge, while 50% cited the availability of testing as a ‘moderate’ or ‘extreme’ barrier to recovery.

John Newcomb added: 

“Builders merchants have done a fantastic job managing product demand and supply in the face of high global demand and reduced capacity resulting from the pandemic. Haulage is the latest challenge and our top priority.  We are doing everything we can to assist discussions between the freight industry and government as they seek to agree both short and long term solutions.”
 
Haulage a priority for BMF
New data from the BMF reveals the shortage of HGV drivers as the main challenge faced by its members, who are already performing a balancing act to keep the building materials supply chain running across the UK.

Zero-carbon entrepreneur confirmed for BMF Young Merchant Conference

 

25 August 2021
 
Angus Macdonald, founder and CEO of award-winning property development company Galion, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF Young Merchant Conference in October. 

Angus, who began his career as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot, switched his high-flying ambitions to sustainable housing in 2002 following an MSc in Property Development and Project Management.  He has successfully masterminded developments in Bristol and Plymouth, including a 28 acre MOD site where he developed 500 waterside homes. 

Galion offers traditionally designed homes using natural materials to reflect local vernacular and, as a keen advocate of the climate change movement, Angus is focused on sustainable construction to provide luxury newbuild and bespoke homes that have minimal impact on the environment and the communities around them.

Angus has founded two other zero-carbon companies, the first of which delivered 600MW of solar power during his 6-year tenure. In 2016 he founded the Talick Group of companies dedicated to helping reversing climate change.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “The devastating impact of human activity on the earth’s climate and the immediate need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming can no longer be ignored and it is down to each and every one of us to take action now.  Angus’ experience both as a developer and within the wider low-carbon sector will make for an extremely interesting presentation for our audience of young merchants, the future leaders of our industry.”

With the theme, “Building the Next Generation”, the BMF Young Merchant Conference is designed to encourage, inspire and enthuse.  Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October 2021, the event is being held in connection with UK Construction week and will include a visit to the Build Show on site.  In addition to a full day’s business programme the BMF Young Merchant Conference features an evening social event at the Sky Loft within the Park Regis Hotel which enjoys unparalleled views over the City of Birmingham.

Registration for the BMF Young Merchant Conference is now open at www.bmf.org.uk/events  

The headline sponsor for the BMF Young Merchant Conference is Knauf Insulation. 
 
Angus Macdonald, founder and CEO of award-winning property development company Galion, is the latest speaker to be confirmed for the BMF Young Merchant Conference in October.

BMF's P&H Merchant Index shows bounce back continues


23 August 2021

Sales through specialist plumbing and heating merchants during the second quarter of the year show the market’s recovery following the adverse impact of the initial Covid lockdown last year. 

Figures released in the BMF's Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) show sales of plumbing and heating products during Q2 2021 were 93.5% higher than in the same three months last year, the trading period worst affected by the pandemic.

Sales in Q2 2021 were also higher than during the same period two years ago, before the pandemic, with the PHMI showing a 4% increase over Q2 2019. Quarter on quarter sales decreased, though this may reflect annual trading patterns within the sector. 

Sales in Q2 2021 were -6.7% lower than in Q1 2021, albeit with two more trading days in the first quarter. Taking extra days out of the equation shows that Q2 average sales a day were down by -3.7% on Q1. Overall, year to date figures for first six months of 2021 were +36.3% higher than the same period in 2020 and +3.8% higher than 2019.

The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, Graham, James Hargreaves Plumbing Deport, PTS and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel, and there is no overlap or double counting between the PHMI and the BMF’s established Builders Merchants Building Index which analyses sales at generalist merchants.
 
Sales through specialist plumbing and heating merchants during the second quarter of the year show the market’s recovery following the adverse impact of the initial Covid lockdown last year.

Record quarter for building material sales


23 August 2021

The latest report from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms Q2 2021 as the best performing quarter on record, for sales through GB builders’ merchants. 

Total builders’ merchants sales in Q2 2021 increased by an astonishing +96.0% over Q2 2020.  While this reflects the severe adverse impact of the initial Covid lockdown, looking further back the BMBI figures show Q2 2021 merchant sales increasing by +20.3% against Q2 2019.  All categories sold more in Q2 2021 compared with the same period in both of last two years.

Confirming the strength of the market, 2021 quarter on quarter sales also showed significant growth.  Sales in Q2 2021 were 24.1% higher than in Q1, with two less trading days in Q2.  Average sales a day in Q2 were 28.1% higher than in Q1. 

Q2 2021 vs Q2 2020 – Year on Year
Two of the strongest performers in Q2 2021 were the weakest in Q2 2020; Tools increased by +151.4% and Kitchens & Bathrooms by +141.3%.  In addition, four categories had their best-ever quarterly sales since the BMBI started in July 2014 – Timber & Joinery Products (+134.6%), Ironmongery (+105.9%), Heavy Building Materials (+81.4%) and Landscaping (+71.1%).

Q2 2021 vs Q2 2019 – Year on 2 Year
Comparing Q2 2021 with the same quarter two years ago, it is clear that the two strongest performers, Landscaping (+48.3%) and Timber & Joinery Products (+41.3%), drove the overall increase.  Sales increases were recorded in all categories, with the largest product category, Heavy Building Materials, up by +11.8%.  Other categories recorded smaller increases, including Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+3.2%), Decorating (+1.7%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.5%).

Q2 2021 vs Q1 2021 – Quarter on Quarter
Ten of the 12 product categories sold more in Q2 than Q1.  Once again Landscaping (+67.8%) was strongest, followed by Timber & Joinery Products (+29.3%) and Heavy Building Materials (+20.5%), with Decorating (+11%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+8.6%) amongst the others showing growth.  Only Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-3.5%) and Workwear & Safetywear (-11.4%) sold less.

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:


“This quarter’s results reflect both the strength of the current market and the vital role of builders merchants in the supply chain. With high global demand and UK workloads continuing at extremely high levels, merchants have done a fantastic job managing product demand and supply. The challenges faced in the first half of the year are likely to continue and the building materials supply chain will be working closely with customers to keep projects on track.”

Emile van der Ryst, Senior Client Insight Manager – Trade at GfK added:

“At the end of Q2 2020 the Builders Merchants sector was coming to terms with the initial fallout of the global pandemic and had just started to reopen.  Fast forward twelve months and last year’s ‘lost’ quarter has been replaced by the best performing quarter on record. The well documented surge in house building and buying has played a key role, while the stock shortages experienced across the UK hasn’t slowed down market performance.  The second half of the year is difficult to predict but will be fascinating to track.”
 
The latest report from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms Q2 2021 as the best performing quarter on record, for sales through GB builders’ merchants.

Andy Williamson to chair BMF Insulation & Dry Lining Forum


16 August 2021

The BMF will launch a new product Forum covering Insulation and Dry Lining in October.

To be chaired by Andy Williamson, Commercial Director at SIG UK, the new Forum will meet for the first time on 28 October at BMF’s head office in Coventry.

Andy is well known to many in the industry having spent over 30 years as a supplier into the merchant sector. He joined SIG in June 2020 as part of a new management team with the focus of improving the relationships with its builders merchants customers and suppliers alike. His former roles include Group Managing Director of IKO plc and Director of Digby Stone. He is currently the Senior Warden of the Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants and due to take over as Master in October. 

In taking on the role of Chairman of the BMF’s newly formed Insulation and Dry Lining Forum Andy plans to bring merchants and suppliers together to discuss the current challenges being experienced by all in the supply chain and facilitate a better understanding of how everyone can work better together on these along with looking at future trends and opportunities including changes in legislation. 

Commenting on the latest Forum, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “We are delighted that Andy will chair the Insulation and Dry Lining Forum. He has always been a huge supporter of the merchant sector and also served on the board of the BMF for a number of years. I can’t wait for the first meeting, which will also be one of the first to be held physically at our head office since the lifting of Covid restrictions.”

Book your place at the inaugural BMF Insulation and Dry Lining Forum at the BMF website.
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) will launch a new product Forum covering Insulation and Dry Lining in October.

h&b adds to IoBM's growing support

17 August 2021

h&b Buying Group has added its support to the growing number of industry influencers who are backing the Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IoBM) ambitious plans to underpin a professional training ethos within the building materials industry since its merger with the BMF earlier this year.

The IoBM is targeting 1000 new members over the next 12 months, with a longer term ambition to become a Chartered Institute.

Jamie Wyatt, Trading Director at h&b Buying Group said: “The increased focus on training and development supported through the IoBM can only benefit the industry as a whole and the h&b group is delighted to show its support through Corporate membership.”

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said: “The IoBM has such an important role to play both in training newcomers to the industry and supporting the more experienced through CPD and we are delighted that h&b is espousing this ambition through corporate membership.  We have a long way to go to reach our ultimate goal of chartered status but the encouragement and co-operation we are now receiving will help us build awarenesss of the Institute’s role as the accreditation body that will raise professional standards for the whole industry.”


Find out more about IoBM membership categories at www.bmf.org.uk/IOBM
 
h&b Buying Group has added its support to the growing number of industry influencers who are backing the Institute of Builders Merchants’ (IoBM) ambitious plans to underpin a professional training ethos within the building materials industry since it

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Press enquires for the builders merchants and building materials industry;

The Builders Merchants Federation is the only trade association that represents and protects the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers to the building materials industry in the UK and Ireland.

Total membership at 1 July 2021 stands at 760 merchant, supplier and service companies who together have combined sales of £39bn and employ around 207,000 people in the building materials industry. BMF’s 393 merchant members operate from over 5,900 branches across the UK and Ireland.

From the saw-mill, quarry and out to the shop floor, the BMF has a unique perspective, which is of value to the media.

For press enquiries regarding the building materials sector/merchants sector, please contact;

Jane Shepherd
[email protected]
07985 129315
01538 308685