Paul Bence to Chair new BMF Kitchen & Bathroom Forum

Published:  11 June, 2019

The Builders Merchants Federation has announced the launch of its latest special interest Forum, which will focus on Kitchens and Bathrooms bringing together members with responsibility for these important product areas.

The new Kitchen and Bathroom Forum will be chaired by Paul Bence, Managing Director of the George Bence Group.

Bence’s original role within the family run business was with Obsidian, their retail brand, which was struggling to gain traction in their local market. Bence quickly turned this around and Obsidian’s award-winning showrooms now showcase the best in kitchens and bathrooms from the world’s top manufacturers. The Group’s lightside business encompasses multiple retail and trade showrooms with specification and design teams adding real value to the Group’s bottom line.

Bence took over as Managing Director in 2010 and has overseen similar growth in the Group’s branch network across product sectors in heavyside, roofing and decorating. He is also an active member of the Fortis Buying Group where he is Trading Director of all Showroom business across the member network.

Bence said: “Product diversification is an important aspect of the merchant industry, especially amongst the shrinking margins associated with the traditional commodity building material products. The BMF has clearly embraced the sector by creating this Forum.

“Personally, I am honoured that the BMF has asked me to chair the group and I look forward to engaging in insightful conversation around the kitchen and bathroom supply chain.”

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Paul is the ideal Chair for the K&B Forum, both for his knowledge of and success within the sector and for the breadth of his contacts amongst merchants and suppliers with an interest in this increasingly important area.

“The Forum concept is greatly appreciated by BMF members and the launch of the K&B Forum means we are now running 14 of these successful special interest groups.”

The first Kitchen & Bathroom Forum will be held on 12 November 2019 at Roca’s new conference and showroom facility in Leicester. For more information email

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