RELEASE DATE: 8 October 2010 at 00:01
BUILDING A BETTER SUPPLY CHAIN A collaboration between self build and renovation specialists, BuildStore, and the UK’s largest merchant co-operative, Unimer, is set revolutionise the self build material supply chain, offering a fast route to market for suppliers and a network of thousands of homebuilding customers for independent merchants. The two companies are launching a joint venture material supply business, BuildStore Connections. BuildStore Connections will provide suppliers, merchants and homebuilding customers with a joined-up supply chain network, and a common marketplace in which to promote, buy and sell goods and services. The partnership between BuildStore and its services, and United Merchants plc and its member and supplier network, will change the way homebuilders buy their materials, and expose merchants and suppliers to a rapidly expanding, marketplace, and order-ready customers. The new joint venture will see Unimer’s 1,000 independent merchant members join BuildStore’s unique TradeCard scheme, putting them in touch with self build and renovation customers in their area. Each branch will be able to identify projects in their area, and discover instantly and in real-time, what stage each customer is at in their projects. This allows merchants to offer the materials and products their customers need at the right time. Materials suppliers will have the opportunity to showcase their products in BuildStore’s National Self Build & Renovation Centre, which welcomes 25,000 homebuilders through its doors every year, of which almost two thirds are ‘in-project’, as well as supplying their products through Unimer’s network of 3,000 independent merchant branches. Every year, around 20,000 new homes are built by self-builders, and tens of thousands of homeowners undertake renovation and major home improvement projects. On average, a self builder will spend £70,000 on materials alone - a total annual spend of £1.4bn. The self build and renovation market is predicted to grow faster than any other traditional housing sector in the next five years, which presents a significant opportunity for material suppliers and merchants. Tim Doherty, Managing Director, BuildStore, commented: “BuildStore’s position in the self build market offers Unimer’s merchants and suppliers a unique link with customers who know what they want and have the finances to pursue their dreams. “Taking advantage of the opportunity in this market sector has traditionally presented two challenges – putting the customer in touch with suppliers, and putting merchants in touch with customers. With BuildStore Connections, merchants and suppliers will gain direct access to a growing market of genuine consumers with real projects, via both Visitor Centre leads and TradeCard, and the customers will get direct access to goods and services, at trade prices, and all the advice an support they need. Merchants will be source and deliver the materials that their customers need, when they need them, creating a fantastic opportunity for tailored and direct sales promotion, and allows branches to build solid customer relationships.” Managing Director of Unimer, Howard Grant, said: “Unimer has been looking after the interests of merchant members for decades, improving cashflow, creating stability and providing opportunities. Operating in the building industry today is as challenging as ever, which is why I am particularly excited about the new joint venture with BuildStore, and why I am convinced it will bring huge benefits to our merchant members. “This is a fantastic opportunity for Unimer’s merchant members to maximise their exposure to the growing self build market and to secure quality business leads in the market sector.
Unimer’s members will be able to create a national supply network of independent merchants more than capable of competing with any national merchant offer.”
BuildStore and Unimer have planned a series of regional and workshops for merchants and th suppliers, starting 19 October. For more information and a full list of event dates and locations, visit www.buildstoreconnections.com
ENDS Notes to Editors About BuildStore BuildStore is at the heart of the UK’s self build and renovation sector, with a bespoke end-to-end offering of products and services, specifically designed to help self builders and renovators throughout their projects. BuildStore’s core services include: Land finding via PlotSearch, the UK’s largest and most accurate online database of building plots, renovations and conversions. There are approximately 8,000 plots, renovations and conversions available, constantly validated for accuracy and include aerial photography Financial Services – BuildStore is the UK’s leading provider of tailored self build and renovation mortgages, allowing funds to be released in stages throughout the project giving positive cash flow. Mortgages are sold direct to the public and via intermediaries and BuildStore currently arranges over £500 million in mortgages each year Buying materials - BuildStore’s TradeCard provides over 3,000 members with discounts and offers of building materials, plant and tool hire from leading suppliers and builder’s merchants, by combining the buying power of the UK’s self builders and renovators The UK’s first and only National Self Build & Renovation Centre, opened in 2007 in Swindon; an impressive 67,000 ft² Centre designed to educate, inform and inspire self builders and renovators.
Media enquiries to: Jaclyn Thorburn PR & Communications Manager BuildStore Financial Services Ltd 01506 409 466 || 07809 583 116 || [email protected]