BMF announces Chair for latest forum

BMF announces Chair for latest forum

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has announced the launch of its latest special interest Forum, which will focus on Kitchens and Bathrooms.

The aim of the forum will be to bring together members with responsibility for these product areas and will be chaired by Paul Bence, Managing Director of the George Bence Group.

Paul’s original role within the family run business was with Obsidian, its retail brand, which was reportedly struggling to gain traction in its local market. Paul was able to turn this around and Obsidian’s award-winning showrooms now showcase kitchens and bathrooms from leading manufacturers.

The Group’s lightside business also encompasses multiple retail and trade showrooms with specification and design teams reportedly adding value to the Group’s bottom line.

Paul took over as MD in 2010 and is said to have 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 businesses across the member network.

Paul commented: “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, added: “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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