With a whole host of different product categories to consider, it can be difficult to know what to stock. Will new product lines take off or should you promote the tried and tested ranges?
For years, British homeowners chose to undertake various DIY projects to improve the look and feel of their homes; in the hope that this more ‘cost effective’ option would help to increase the overall perceived value of their property.
Upskilling is a crucial part of professional development and, with the campaign for apprenticeship schemes making headlines, UK business and industry are faster adopting this style of learning and training.
When many Builders Merchants’ News readers grew up, having a Saturday job – helping in a shop, cafe or builders’ merchant yard – was part of teenage life. In today’s society, ‘Saturday work’ has dropped by some 65%, according to the Confederation of Timber Industries’ Skills and Education report. That means fewer young people being exposed to potential careers in merchanting, and learning about materials like timber.
According to recent statistics, people in the UK have incidents involving stairs every 90 seconds, and in 2015 there were 787 deaths in England and Wales caused by a fall on steps or stairs, which equates to more than two fatalities every day.
As we move into the spring months, security is a key focus for trade professionals. Each year, approximately 11% of the UK’s population move home with spring being the most popular time*. As a result, homeowners are keen to protect their new property and so merchants should be promoting security solutions to cope with the increase in demand.
These days it’s cyber security and hackers that make the headlines, but there’s also the occasional robbery that makes the headlines (such as the Hatton Garden heist).
Hairdressing and construction are two industries you wouldn’t usually put together in the same sentence. Yet, the skills I developed as a hair stylist has led me to become an established construction industry professional.
Interior design experts have selected mouldings as one of the key décor trends to watch in 2017, so expect to see the demand for mouldings and trims to increase over the coming months.
One of the biggest trends for the home in 2017 is the continued growth and adoption of smart technology, of which remote home security is a key driver. As a result, it’s important for merchants to understand how this emerging market can provide a lucrative revenue stream.
With rapid industrialisation, waste management technologies today are dramatically evolving. Companies are under constant pressure to optimize their waste management and enhance their environmental bottom line. This has led to rewarding business opportunities in waste management and companies can take advantage of this.
If your business is planning a project then you’ll need to have all the right tools in place to complete it.
Putting your business on show is a great way of getting noticed. Trade exhibitions are an ideal stage to achieve this, as I wrote last time. There are also plenty of opportunities for a business to create its own events. This leads to greater engagement with customers and stakeholders, and generates a buzz that is unique to your brand.
Supplying a range of both traditional and contemporary security products for 2017 is vital. For example, it is advised that merchants stock a full range of replacement multipoint locks, as it is a product that is needed all year round when older locks fail.
Sometimes working in the construction industry can feel like you are juggling a host of different issues, but one that has grown in importance in recent years is the amount of pollution generated by construction work. Increasingly businesses are looking to see what they can do to reduce this pollution or minimise it as much as possible.
To the untrained eye, safety boot ratings can look like nothing more than a bunch of letters and numbers chosen at random by shoe manufacturers.
With increased pressure on us all to protect the environment we live in, industries across the world are looking at ways that they can do their bit to look after it.
Regardless of the product or service you provide, one thing is true for every single company in the UK: your business must meet all of the requirements for a safe working environment. But, are you confident that your business does this? In fact, are you entirely sure what is required of you as an employer?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jess Penny explains how she believes the Apprenticeship Levy will help close the manufacturing skills gap
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.
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.
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?
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.
It’s important not to underestimate the need for durable, reliable labelling within building and construction environments.
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.
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.
With the dark nights on the horizon and the colder nights drawing in, more people will be spending more time indoors than out.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.*
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