Builders' Merchants News
Getting ready for winter

At this time of year, building activity tends to start to slow, and there is a noticeable (and unsurprising) transition from outdoor to indoor work. Therefore, it is important for merchants to understand what equipment and products the industry is going to need over the coming months.

The ‘burglary season’ is here

In the run up to Christmas, there is often a heightened media interest suggesting that homes and possessions are more at risk. This is mainly due to the extra valuables and presents in homes, which act as a big incentive for thieves.

Tailoring the product to the audience

Everything in America is bigger, they say - the houses, the cars, and the portion sizes. Even their presidential debate lasted almost as long as the winning candidate’s term in office.

Why wooden frame construction is returning to the UK

In the US, using wooden frame construction has long been a popular method for building houses and other types of properties. Here in the UK, wooden frames went out of fashion despite traditionally being a popular way to construct buildings. Timber however is enjoying a comeback due to its credentials as an eco-friendly and versatile building material.

Tackling the manufacturing skills gap

Jess Penny explains how she believes the Apprenticeship Levy will help close the manufacturing skills gap

Raising health and safety awareness in builders’ merchants

It’s estimated that over 200 people are killed by workplace accidents every year. A further one million people become injured at work, and over two million suffer from illnesses caused by, or made worse by, their work.

A Bright future predicted for housing construction

Concerns about Brexit’s impact on everything ranging from finance to science has been brought up in the aftermath of the vote on 24 June.

Turning waste (water) into opportunity

As the land available in urban areas dwindles, more and more new housing developments are being built in rural areas outside the mains drainage network. This is creating rising demand for safe, effective and compliant systems to collect and store wastewater. But what do merchants need to know to make the most of this growth market?

How changes to the Apprenticeship Levy will affect the construction sector

The recent announcement regarding changes to the Apprenticeship Levy is welcome news for the construction sector, particularly as it struggles with its biggest skills crisis in almost 20 years.

Product traceability in construction

It’s important not to underestimate the need for durable, reliable labelling within building and construction environments.

Making an exhibition of yourself

Of all the marketing and PR activities you can do to promote your company, one of the most effective is to get out there and meet prospective customers face to face.

Why school leavers should consider a career in construction

Coming to the end of the final school term can be incredibly daunting for students, especially if they’re not sure what career path to follow. Nowadays, most schools pressure our youth to get excellent grades rather than prepare them for what happens after graduation.

Promote stair safety this winter

With the dark nights on the horizon and the colder nights drawing in, more people will be spending more time indoors than out.

Wow with technical know how

The building trade has evolved considerably over the last decade. New industry innovations, trends and standards have meant that merchants need to continually update and adapt their technical knowledge to keep abreast of the latest developments.

Using green credentials to boost your sales

In recent years, the environment has become a hot topic for everyone, as we begin to realise the impact of past actions upon our planet. It’s clear that many of these actions have been, and continue to be, wasteful and damaging to the environment, and the realisation that it cannot continue is beginning to sink in. Julian Betts, head of customer services for Evander Glazing & Locks explains.

The power of printed marketing materials

Once, you couldn’t move in business without a corporate brochure or product catalogue. Since the rise of the Internet, there’s been a shift towards online marketing. After all, if you can send information at the click of a mouse, or quickly update details whenever you need to, why pay for printing or posting?

What’s top of the list for home improvements this autumn?

With the start of autumn just around the corner, homeowners will be starting to create a list of home improvements they need to implement before the unforgiving season of winter emerges.

Brexit - a blessing in disguise for some British building product manufacturers?

With imported building products becoming more expensive in the aftermath of Brexit, it’s no wonder that some experts have predicted a rise in construction costs by up to 12%. But as imports are becoming less competitive, could some British manufacturers profit from it?

Shine a spotlight on security during the dark nights

Awareness campaigns fill the calendar year, however, very few merchants are capitalising on these opportunities to increase margins. Backing awareness initiatives is an effective way to generate awareness of a particular issue and place merchants in a prime position to engage with their customers, as well as benefiting from increased sales opportunities.

Why builders’ merchants still need to stock rope

The building trade has changed a lot in the last 100 years. Therefore, builders’ merchants have also needed to change in order to stay in business.

How do I fix a masonry crack?

In this blog, I am going to look at how mechanical stitching systems provide a cost effective and permanent method of repairing cracked masonry walls, avoiding the expense of a complete rebuild.

Maximise multipoint lock sales

A multipoint locking system is a high security lock that bolts the door into the frame, offering a high level of security. It locks at a minimum of three points and is predominantly found on PVCu and composite doors, making up a staggering 80%* of the lock market.

How to achieve more through advertising

In previous blogs, I’ve looked at how builders’ merchants, suppliers and customers can get cleverer with marketing by harnessing the power of PR, social media and email.

The timber industry in 2016: mid-year review

In January this year, Arbor Forest Products published a list of predictions for the timber industry in 2016. Here is a look back at the predictions that we made, and offer an update on how the industry – as we see it – is progressing.

Secure a ‘shed’ load of profit this summer

During the summer months, homeowners increasingly invest in new and expensive gardening furniture and tools, which is traditionally stored in sheds or other outbuildings when not in use.

Is DIY a lost art?

As time goes by, the art of do-it-yourself when it comes to activities around the home and garden is fast becoming more and more of a lost art.

The risks of buying and fitting cheap door hardware

Taking the cheapest route with any product or service is more often than not an example of false economy. Most people know that generally, the cheaper the product, the more likely it is you will have to fix or replace it sooner. When it comes to door hardware, you don’t have to make the false economy of choosing lower quality hardware to help reduce costs.

Sustainability in construction: The benefits of choosing wood

There is a growing call for the UK construction trade to operate more sustainably. Easier in some industries than others, one of the trickiest sectors is the construction industry. From harvesting raw materials, transport, manufacturing, to the actual construction of buildings, construction has a significant impact on the environment.

Email marketing keeps you in touch with customers

Whether you want to keep a regular visitor up-to-date about your latest offers and services, or bring an occasional buyer back through your doors, email marketing is a low-cost and highly effective way of speaking regularly to customers.

Engage your customers with product demos

Product demonstrations and samples are a fantastic way to grab your customer’s attention and encourage hands-on interaction with the products being discussed. In fact, research has revealed that over a third of customers have bought a product after sampling it first during a product demonstration.*

Flooding without action is a serious political risk

June’s flash flooding in London, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Scotland, and cities across Northern Europe from Paris to Prague came as a shock. In the South of England polling stations were flooded, disrupting voting in the EU referendum.

Maximise mid-year sales

We’ve officially entered the summer months and as consumer attention turns to the great outdoors, merchants need to capitalise on this opportunity and advise customers to stock up on seasonal security solutions.

The pathway of a small business owner turning into a big merchant

There are many challenges for a small business owner to overcome when trying to grow their company. They may think that they won’t be able to make it on their own and may have cold feet about business opportunities and running efficient operations.

Get social to engage with customers

Marketing has changed beyond recognition during the past decade or so. The difference? Social media. Since Facebook exploded in the mid-2000s, the ability to speak directly to customers – rather than indirectly, through advertising or PR – has revolutionised how we do business.

Make the most of summer sales

Now the warmer weather is finally here, homeowners are starting to consider the jobs they have been neglecting during the winter months. This includes updating the look and feel of their home.

ACO welcomes call for greater action on tackling flood risks

ACO, a UK manufacturer of surface water management solutions, has broadly welcomed a Parliamentary report stating that more needs to be done to protect UK communities at risk from floods – and called for all interested parties to work together to deliver holistic solutions.

Catching customers that slip through the net

Trigger emails and remarketing have two things in common: they work by cajoling your potential customer into action and they're an extremely cost effective addition to your b2b marketing toolkit.

What effect would a Brexit have on the construction industry?

As the Brexit debate hots up, the construction industry is nailing its colours firmly to the mast – with both the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) stating that overseas workers are vital to the UK’s long-term economic wellbeing.

Effective communication in construction: two-way radios

In this blog post I am going to discuss the role of effective communication in the construction industry, and take a deeper look at two-way radios along the way.

Use PR to build effective relationships

In today’s information age, creating the right content is key to successful marketing – but, honestly, it’s not new, it’s always been this way. While social media and website blogs have brought the emphasis onto honing brand messages that will engage with your customers, that’s exactly what public relations (PR) has been doing for decades.

Secure sales this summer

Summer is the time of year when consumers turn their attention to home security. This is because thousands of homeowners spend more time outside or going on holiday, leaving their homes empty, unsecured and unprotected. Therefore, it’s not surprising that burglars also ramp up activity during the lighter evenings with a 10% increase in domestic burglaries and a 40% increase in outdoor thefts.

Step change in our climate, demands step change in water management

Phew! The government and Environment Agency must be relieved. Water and wild weather have dropped out of UK headlines.

The importance of point-of-sale

As we are constantly being reminded, technology is an ever-growing force in today’s society. Everything from the way we interact with peers to how we do business has been affected by the digital revolution and this is as true for builders’ merchants as it is for anyone.

Don’t tell me, show me

When I was a fresh young copywriter at my very first advertising agency, I was given two pieces of invaluable advice. One was ‘never get to the bar first’, the other was ‘don’t tell me if you can show me’.

Take the indoors outside with outdoor tiling

It’s a fad which is only going to grow and grow – outdoor tiling with full-bodied porcelain or impervious natural stone to create a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living.

Opening the door on standards

As we move into the warmer months, it’s not surprising that security becomes a key focus for trade professionals, as statistics show that burglars ramp up activity during the spring and summer months, experiencing a 10% increase in domestic burglaries*.

Find the right website content to boost your brand

Over the past few months, I have looked at getting your website right as the base for a sound marketing campaign.

Leave it to the professionals

According to statistics more than one in three homeowners (35%) spend over £2,000 a year on home improvements, making it a key area for merchants to consider.

Launching a new product range successfully

Introducing a new product can increase both sales and overall customer satisfaction, but how do you ensure your clients are as excited about a launch as you are, and what’s the secret to turning a new offering into profitable business?

Forklift maintenance and safety tips

When it comes to keeping your warehouse running smoothly and efficiently there are two key things to consider - worker safety and the maintenance of your forklift trucks. On average, 1,500 forklift related accidents occur every year in the UK alone, usually due to poor training or malfunctions brought about by poor maintenance.