NMBS names 2024 “the Year of the Independent Builders Merchant”

NMBS names 2024 “the Year of the Independent Builders Merchant”

As part of an ongoing campaign in the face of a challenging year for the construction industry, NMBS is calling 2024 the “Year of the Independent Merchant.”

Given the pressures on the industry, NMBS asserts that the value of well-informed, well stocked and supportive merchants who know the local market inside out becomes increasingly important for many small contractors, installers and specialist trades in 2024.

Recent research by On The Tools shows that the majority of UK tradespeople surveyed believe their local independent merchants are their preferred choice, providing the best understanding of their business needs and requirements. For example, when asked ‘If you had to choose just one company that you believe best understands your business needs and requirements, who would you choose?’, the largest group (23.16%) said it was their local independent merchant. Another 17.09% said specialist merchant.

Accordingly, NMBS has declared 2024 as the “year of the independent builders’ merchant” and has launched a year-long campaign of promotion for its independent merchant members, focusing on businesses old and new, large and small, wherever they are in the UK.

Through profile-building case studies and social media campaigns, NMBS will be celebrating the success stories and strong relationships created between independent merchants, suppliers and local trades, sharing their tips and insights into how best to weather an uncertain year ahead and make the most of the new business opportunities in their local area.

And according to NMBS, the main benefits of installers and trades buying locally from an independent merchant are considered to be:

A highly personalised service, with expert advice and tailored solutions to meet individual trade needs.

Deep product knowledge of the specific products they carry, ensuring that tradespeople receive accurate information and recommendations for high quality solutions.

Quicker order processing and delivery times, minimising downtime on jobs.

Competitive prices and discounts, as they have lower overhead costs compared to larger retailers.

Local merchants are usually more willing to accommodate unique requests or special orders, enhancing convenience for tradespeople.

Supporting local businesses helps strengthen the local economy, creates jobs and maintains a sense of community. Consistently buying from a local merchant can also help tradespeople build long-term relationships, potentially leading to better deals and service over time.

Dean Hayward, NMBS Head of Sales and Marketing, said: “For 2024, everyone agrees that it’s going to be another tough year. That said, pent up demand is clearly there, and the housing market is already starting to show green shoots of recovery.

“NMBS members are vital to supporting this recovery at a local level, and they are investing in even better customer service and efficiencies in all working practices. NMBS is committed to helping independent merchants achieve another year of profitable growth.”

Dean continued: “So we believe that, in shining a spotlight on NMBS independent members in this way, we can boost local economies and support the vital relationships between suppliers, merchants and installers. It’s by developing and nurturing these business relationships that we can all thrive in 2024.”

As part of an ongoing campaign in the face of a challenging year for the construction industry, NMBS is calling 2024 the “Year of the Independent Merchant.”

Images courtesy of Williams.

NMBS is the largest buying society in the UK for independent merchants, supporting more than 1,230 independents across 4,749 branches, covering the full range of independent builders’, plumbing and heating, hardware, tool and timber merchants. It stated remit is to “promote access to brand-leading suppliers, exclusive discounts and rebates, e-invoicing and reduced administration costs, and a range of events and marketing support.”


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