This Key Note Update analyses the UK market for builders’ merchants. For the purposes of this report, the market is divided into the following three main categories: heavyside materials, lightside materials and tools and tool hire. In general, the primary commercial activity of builders’ merchants is to supply products to building contractors and other ancillary tradesmen. Key Note estimates that, in 2015, the size of the builders’ merchants market grew by 5.6%. However, as a result of a difficult 2012, Key Note estimates that over the 5-year review period from 2011, the value of the market experienced a decline of 3.9%.
Given that the financial performance of the UK builders’ merchants sector is heavily dependent on construction output, this Key Note Market Update includes a close analysis of the UK construction industry, including housing, infrastructure, industrial and repair, maintenance and improvement (RM&I) work in both the public and private sectors.
In terms of current market performance, recent years have seen considerable improvements in the volume and value of work. Beforehand, the industry was severely adversely impacted by the 2008/2009 global recession, which saw diminished economic activity across the world, which in turn reduced the volume of work available to builders’ merchants. This was made worse in the UK and elsewhere by Governmental decisions to enact austerity measures which resulted in weaker public sector construction demand.
However, more recently the UK has begun to...