New partnership launched to offer full strategic support for builders’ merchants

New partnership launched to offer full strategic support for builders’ merchants

Two well-known industry names, Mike Rigby (l) and Andrew Pine, have got together to provide builders’ merchants with what is described as “a complete solution for strategy & business development, new formats and branch improvement”. The new service extends from advice and support on strategy, business models and marketing to complete turn-key project management.

“Builders’ Merchants have probably never had so many big opportunities and serious challenges occurring at the same time,” says Mike Rigby. “Branding and marketing are coming into their own, but the pace of change is accelerating. Smartphones and online trading have increased complexity and expanded merchants’ reach.”

Andrew Pine adds: “Strong growth on top of a long recession means most merchants are running lean and don’t have the spare senior resource to investigate the opportunities and challenges, or implement significant improvements or new developments to capitalise on them. That’s where we come in.”

Andrew has had extensive regional director experience at Travis Perkins, Jewson, and MKM Building Supplies where he was responsible for branch openings and branch support. He was President of the Institute of Builders Merchants 2011-2013, and recently worked with Howarth Timber Group to remodel a purchased branch.

Mike learned about branding and marketing at Dulux Paints, and was head of marketing at a national builders’ merchant before it was acquired. He progressed to senior management in the window industry. His company, MRA Marketing is an award-winning full service marketing agency with over 20 years’ experience in helping companies grow. Last year Mike spoke at the All Industry Conference in Tenerife and gave a well-attended masterclass recently on Marketing and Merchandising at the BMF’s January Branch Managers’ Forum.

MRA was in the headlines in 2014 with a project for customer EH Smith to recover lost collect share, grow collect business and establish a model that could be successfully implemented across the branch network. Describing what it achieved, Mark Mallinder, EH Smith Marketing Director, said: “The business has seen a sustained 24% increase in small builder revenue giving us a growth map for the next 10 years.”

Between them, Andrew and Mike provide advice and practical help on strategy, marketing, merchandising, business development and project management through their existing businesses, Merchant Development Solutions and MRA Marketing, respectively.

Call Andrew Pine on 07944 629249 or visit


Related posts