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Some tricks, not many treats

Fiona Russell-Horne

And at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot drawing near So it’s the end of austerity is it? Hmmm. I’ll believe that when I see it. Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s latest Budget on Monday was, on the surface, full of treats rather than tricks. Apparently they moved it from its traditional …

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From little acorns do mighty oaks grow

Fiona Russell-Horne

And another one gone, and another one gone Another one bites the dust Hey, I’m gonna get you, too Another one bites the dust Once upon a time, barely two decades ago, a little builder’s merchant was set up in Wales. Because that was the sort of thing that someone …

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Dance like no-one is watching

Fiona Russell-Horne

You can dance, you can jive Having the time of your life Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I’m slightly, (only slightly, mind you) warming to Teresa May. It’s not that I think the Chequers deal is the right one for the UK post-Brexit, rather that I’m …

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Scary cyber-stuff

Fiona Russell-Horne

The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past. Hands-up who listened to Dr David Day at the BMF Members’ Day event with an increasing sense of trepidation an, by the end, downright terror? Surely I wasn’t …

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If we build it, will they come?

Fiona Russell-Horne

Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success. It’s Party Conference season again, so the papers and the Twitter timelines are full of keynote speeches and new policies that may or not be implemented, depending on whether they are announced by the incumbents or the wannabes. Plus, …

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Old, tired, dilapidated…

Fiona Russell-Horne

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us,   Regular readers know I’m a sucker for a beautiful building. It doesn’t really matter of it’s a modern one or a Gothic cathedral …

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What merchants can learn from iconic brands

Patrick Edwards

Tarmac Cement’s Patrick Edwards looks at brand longevity and what merchants can learn from it. As one of the building industry’s most iconic brands, Tarmac’s Blue Circle cement product brand has demonstrated lasting appeal over the last 100 years. As the brand continues to evolve in a connected world where …

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Clap, cheer, fizz

Fiona Russell-Horne

Acknowledgement and celebration are essential to fuelling passion, making people feel valid and valuable, and giving the team a real sense of progress that makes it all worthwhile. You know that feeling when you’ve been to a really good party that what you want more than anything is to do …

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Drove to the Levy but the Levy was dry

Fiona Russell-Horne

Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you: education, education, education. Well it was always a big ask I suppose. The 3 million apprenticeships that the Tories promised in their manifesto. Turns out that the actual number is likely to be somewhat south of that. In …

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Singing the DIY blues

Fiona Russell-Horne

I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity. I have had very little occasion in the last 25 years (how has it been that long?)  to write anything like the following sentence, “Travis Perkins posts pre-tax loss of £123m.” But last week I did, courtesy of the merchanting …

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