Maximising growth opportunities in a buoyant market was the key theme discussed at the 18th Independent Builders Merchant Forum (IBMF) hosted by UK brick maker, Ibstock.
Some 96 independent merchants attended the forum at the Forest of Arden Hotel in Meriden, Warwickshire, which covered topics including the brick market, brick availability and the advantages offered by direct to site business.
The forum also saw the re-launch of the enhanced Everyday Specials range. The popular special shaped bricks are designed to accomplish great results quickly and easily. The products are frost resistant, suitable for most brickwork applications and are specifically suited for the job, so no cutting is required. Available in Smooth Blue or Smooth Red colour options, the Everyday Specials range is supported by an innovative and unique new online quotation and ordering system.
Ibstock also outlined how it is helping to ensure continued availability of brick. While most of its brick products are available in 12 weeks or less, the brick maker also offered choices for merchants with more urgent requirements including collection options. In addition, Ibstock introduced the 7th edition of its popular Brick Selector, packed with handy ‘how to guides’, new project and product photography to bring the colour and textures of the bricks alive. It will help merchants communicate the message that there is a wide choice of bricks available to their customers.
Tony France, director of builders’ merchants sales at Ibstock, said: “At a time when the market is showing sustained signs of recovery, we feel it’s crucial we help merchants maximise the opportunities available to them. This could be providing the latest literature and promotional material and online ordering system for our enhanced Everyday Specials range or simply helping them get bricks when they need them. The key message is for merchants to discuss their requirements with us so we can continue to work with them as they build their operations and ensure demand is met.”