The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has released the first examples of top line data generated by Gfk’s new Builders Merchants Panel to its members, which projects total annual sales for the whole general builders merchants channel in excess of £6bn.
GfK’s panel represents 80% of the country’s multiple generalist builders merchants, defined as those selling a mix of heavy-side and light-side products though more than three branches or with an annual turnover of more than £30m.
The sample data, for Q3 2014, shows the total sales value for the period was £1.3bn – indicating annualised sales in the region of £5.4bn for the panel members and projected total annual sales of £6bn for the whole general builders merchants channel. The data is collected from general builders merchants only; there are no specialist plumbers merchants, decorators merchants, civils or drainage specialist on the panel.
Monthly sales in August were down by 12.1% on July, which has been put down to fewer trading days and annual holidays in the month.
However sales bounced back by 11.1% in September, but didn’t quite reach the July high point.
Of the total Q3 sales, over 75% came from just three product areas, heavy building materials (47.2%), timber and joinery products (21%) and landscaping (8.4%). Other areas being tracked include decorating, plumbing heating and electrics, kitchens and bathrooms, tools, and ironmongery. GfK say they will track how these shares vary throughout the year and, from Q3 2015, year on year.
The panel includes national, multi-regional and regional merchants such as Buildbase, Jewson, Travis Perkins, EH Smith, Gibbs & Dandy, MKM, Bradfords, Covers and Ridgeons.
Data highlights for Q4 2014 will be published in February 2015.
Ricky Coombes, GfK channel account manager (builders merchants and personal protective equipment) said: “We can now provide accurate, continuous tracking of sales-out, for defined products and periods within the general builders merchants channel.
“We do this by collecting live sales out data from our panel of merchant partners. We then add value to that data through the application of each sold product’s unique technical features, and compare like-for-like products and categories from like-for-like merchants and aggregate this within our reports.
“For participating merchants we are tracking certain product group sector performance each month at feature levels, e.g. brand, application or dimension. This is the very first time such specific data has been available to merchants, and their suppliers, to assess performance between branches, against competitors, or even to test the effect of individual promotions.”