What does 2017 hold for UK builders’ merchants?

2016 has been a challenging year for many UK builders’ merchants, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic! Here at Integrity Software we take a look at what 2017 might hold for builders’ merchants and hardware stores.

21st December 2016

Economic outlook

There’s no doubt that cost pressures have been rising due to the implementation of the national living wage and the weakened pound, but there’s been encouraging news for the construction industry and builders’ merchants in both the Budget and Autumn Statement.

Increased funding for infrastructure and transport projects such as the flood resilience programme and the Midlands Rail Hub will bring great opportunities for the industry.

There will also be extra funding available for housing and associated infrastructure projects, particularly in high demand areas.  Builders’ merchants serving these sectors and areas are likely to benefit.



Builders’ merchants specifically are performing well ahead of industry expectations. The Builders’ Merchants Building Index (BMBI) found that merchant sales figures were up 3.8% in Q3 2016 compared with the same period in 2015 - a sign that the sector is healthier than the wider construction industry.

Dealing with change

Builders’ merchants will be paying more attention to their supply chain as the pound remains weak. You may be able to find significant savings by switching suppliers or renegotiating contracts. Also seeking more UK sourced products to reduce the impact of a weaker pound may be a viable option for some businesses. You may also find that your POS software can’t cope with the changes you may need to make. Trader software from Integrity might be able to help you as your business changes and grows. Talk to us about your requirements today and let us see if we can help.

On the surface, 2017 may look challenging for builders’ merchants. The sector is showing its resilience, and a proactive approach to the supply chain can help you offset rising costs. On the consumer side, shoppers are expected to have more to spend over the next 12 months - potentially boosting your DIY custom.

To conclude, although the economic conditions may be difficult for builders’ merchants, there is a lot to look forward to. It’s vitally important to control costs and margins which will in turn help you improve your resilience to financial pressures and grow your business. To see how Trader can help you achieve these goals - give us call 

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