The NMBS - the independent builders merchants buying group - has announced that the combined number of UK branches of its members is now over 3000. The strength of the independents is further underlined by the fact the NMBS state that its combined sales value is now over £6.5bn.
When taken as a whole, the NMBS membership is bigger than Travis Perkins and Saint Gobain combined, and has more branches than any other national merchant. This is proof that they are relevant in todays market place and their importance cannot be ignored by the industry.
Although every independent merchant is not a member of NMBS, the independent market share would is greater than 40%, even without counting non-members.
This just goes to show the importance of selling to the independent merchants for manufacturers of building products and explains the increasing number of sales jobs in the builders merchants sector being created at present. Merchants are also becoming increasingly proactive themselves, both in branch with sales advisors and support and with field sales professionals chasing contracts and supply for key projects in their locality.
This desire to grow is also shown from the feedback of a recent NMBS survey of its membership on the future for the industry. The survey revealed that confidence for the next year is very high and the over 40% are planning to grow by adding further branches.
NMBS Managing Director, Chris Hayward said: "NMBS and its independent members still offer the most effective route to market for any building industry supplier, with independents having visibly the greater market share in many commodity areas ranging from Natural Paving to Power tools.
"So our message is clear: Independents are a real force in the market place and have real confidence and proven plans for growth in the future."
Pinnacle Consulting is very active in the recruitment of sales and marketing professionals in the supply of building materials and products via independent merchants. www.pinnacleconsulting.co.uk