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AMA Research have published the 14th edition of the 'Builders and Plumbers Merchants Market Report – UK 2015-2019 Analysis'. The report provides an informed and up-to-date review of this influential market and, with over 100 pages, is a comprehensive review of recent market trends and forecasts over the next few years.Key issues covered:

Detailed assessment of the market - analysis of market size, structure - lightside/heavyside, pricing trends and recent developments in the market.
Review of the merchants - nationals, regionals, buying groups, merchants characteristics, SWOT analysis, market shares.
Analysis by product group - sector size, product mix, trends and merchants market share - plumbing & drainage, heating & ventilation, bricks, blocks, clay & concrete products, cement & plaster materials, timber & timber products, kitchen furniture & appliances, roofing & insulation, decorating materials and ironmongery & miscellaneous.
Future prospects - market forecasts to 2019, factors influencing future growth.

Key areas of insight include:

Market performance to 2015 in the light of an improving building and construction industry, with forecasts through to 2019.
Positive and negative factors affecting the market – increasing confidence for sustained UK economy recovery; residential & non-domestic construction levels, public and private sector performance likely to differ substantially.
Dominance of the national merchants – Travis Perkins, Saint Gobain, Grafton, Wolseley and Screwfix; market mix by merchants type (nationals, regionals & locals).
Product group analysis – market sizes, influences, trends and merchant shares.
Identification of key customer groups in merchant market.
Changing customer buying behaviour - demand for online purchasing, click & collect etc.
Some of the companies included:
Alsford Timber, Bradfords Building Supplies, C&W Berry, Crossling, David Cover & Son, EH Smith, Elliott Brothers, Grafton Group, Grant & Stone, Haldane Fisher, HPS (Heating Plumbing Supplies), Huws Gray, James Burrell, James Hargreaves, Joseph Parr (Group) Ltd, JT Atkinsons & Sons, JT Dove, Kent Blaxill & Co, Lawsons, LBS Builders Merchants, MKM Building Supplies, MP Moran & Sons, Nicholls & Clarke Group, Parker Building Supplies, Rawle Gammon & Baker, Ridgeons Ltd, Robert Price, Saint-Gobain Building Products Distribution, Sydenhams, Travis Perkins, Wolseley UK.

Key areas covered in the report include:

THE MERCHANTS
National merchants – turnover, company structure, recent performance, market share.
Regional merchants – key players, turnover, main product areas and branch numbers.
Buying groups – identification of the main groups and sector consolidation.
Merchants characteristics – products ranges, profitability, debtors, turnover per employee.
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the merchant sector.

BUILDERS AND PLUMBERS MERCHANTS MARKET

The merchants market – key characteristics of the market, analysis by value from 2009-2015, trends and forecasts to 2019.
Dominance of the national merchants - market mix by merchants type (nationals, regionals & locals).
Market trends and major factors influencing market development – growth of online purchasing, ‘click & collect’ etc.
Identification of merchants’ main customer groups.
Product pricing trends in the industry.
Review of market structure – lightside and heavyside product distribution.
Merchants share of overall construction output.
Merchants share by each product group.

PRODUCTS AND SUPPLIERS

Product group review: plumbing & drainage, heating & ventilation, bricks, blocks, clay & concrete products, cement & plaster materials, timber & timber products, kitchen furniture & appliances, roofing & insulation, decorating materials and ironmongery & miscellaneous.
Product mix for builders and plumbers’ merchants.
Analysis by product group - market size 2009-2015 and product mix within each sector. Review of products including recent major trends and key factors affecting the sub-sector.

FUTURE PROSPECTS

Outlook for the builders and plumbers market – short term prospects and medium term prospects through to 2019.
Key influences on the market going forward - business and consumer confidence, construction output, public and private sector influences.Following significant decline in 2008-09, the builders and plumbers merchant market market had remained relatively flat to 2012 but has been boosted since 2013 by recovery in the housebuilding sector in particular, reaching growth of 6% in 2013 and 9% in 2014. Indications are that growth was slightly lower in 2015 at 4%, though the overall trend remains positive. Other key sectors that have experienced growth and stimulated demand for merchants’ products include offices, infrastructure, industrial and education. In 2014 it is estimated that merchant sales accounted for around 9% of total construction output, indicating that the merchants remain an important distribution channel in the overall construction market. The merchants offer an extensive range of products, with the traditional building products still dominating the product mix.

The market is dominated by a leading group of 5 organisations who account for an estimated share of over 75% of the market. Since the economic and construction downturn the merchant market has undergone some significant structural changes, with the market consolidating as some of the larger companies acquired relatively smaller, but established merchants. Difficult trading conditions experienced in recent years have led to increased competition from other channels, particularly the DIY multiples. The impact of the construction downturn was initially more significant for the merchants, with DIY benefiting from consumers switching major home improvement projects in favour of lighter DIY tasks, however, since 2013 the merchants have performed better than the DIY multiples, benefiting from the significant growth seen in housebuilding and some non-domestic new work in particular and also the growth in house prices driving the residential refurbishment sector.

The market is price sensitive, being driven by competition, energy & fuel costs, volatile prices of raw materials and product availability. Whilst price increases boost market size, they contribute to some margin erosion in merchant business, principally in respect of commodity and ‘known value’ items. The upturn in construction activity since 2013 has also led to supply chain issues and shortages for some products such as bricks & blocks, timber and roof tiles. However some manufacturers have re-opened moth-balled manufacturing facilities to address the issue. In addition to these product shortages, there are also some prospective on-site skills shortages.

Future prospects for the merchant market remain relatively optimistic with increased confidence in the continued recovery of the UK economy and that it will be sustained. Construction activity levels are increasing, although the rate of growth is thought to have slowed slightly in 2015 and the rate of recovery remains vulnerable. However, forecasts are broadly positive, with growth rates of between 3-6% per annum forecast until 2019. Drivers in the residential sector include the traditional UK under-investment in its housing stock in terms of new build requirements, also the age of the current dwellings stimulates expenditure of RMI activity; the current confidence in the new housebuilding sector in terms of starts, forward reservations, completions and average prices. Returning confidence and investment levels in the private commercial sector are likely to be one of the key drivers for growth in non-residential output into the medium-term, with good growth forecast in the office sector in particular. The market will also be influenced by the cost of fuel and energy as well as the volatility of the exchange rate of Sterling, the rising cost of raw materials and product shortages as well as potential skills shortages.

Table Of Contents

Builders and Plumbers Merchants Market Report - UK 2015-2019 Analysis
1. INTRODUCTION 8
1.1 INTRODUCTION 8
1.2 SOURCES OF INFORMATION 8
2. SUMMARY and FUTURE PROSPECTS 10
2.1 SUMMARY 10
2.2 FUTURE PROSPECTS 12
3. ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT 14
3.1 GDP 14
3.2 INFLATION and INTEREST RATES 15
3.3 UNEMPLOYMENT 16
3.4 HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION 17
3.5 HOUSING and CONSTRUCTION 17
3.6 STERLING 18
3.7 POPULATION PROFILE 19
3.8 CONCLUSIONS 19
4. THE BUILDERS AND PLUMBERS MERCHANTS' MARKET 21
4.1 DEFINITION 21
4.2 PRODUCTS 21
4.2.1 Product Range 22
4.3 MARKET STRUCTURE 22
4.3.1 Lightside Product Distribution 23
4.3.2 Heavyside Product Distribution 26
4.4 MARKET SIZE 26
4.4.1 Recent Performance 27
4.4.2 Future Prospects 29
4.5 MERCHANTS' SHARE OF CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT 33
4.6 BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION MARKET INFLUENCES 34
4.6.1 Overall Construction Market 34
4.6.2 The Housing Market 37
4.6.3 Additional Factors Influencing the Merchants' Market 40
5. THE BUILDERS and PLUMBERS MERCHANTS 41
5.1 MARKET SHARE 41
5.2 MERCHANT COMPANIES 43
5.2.1 National Merchants 43
5.2.2 Large Regional Merchants 49
5.2.3 Medium and Small Size Regionals 51
5.2.4 Local Merchants 55
5.2.5 Buying Groups 56
5.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF BUILDERS and PLUMBERS MERCHANTS 57
5.3.1 Product Range 57
5.3.2 Profitability 58
5.3.3 Debtors 59
5.3.4 Turnover Per Employee 60
5.3.5 Pricing and Prices 61
5.4 MERCHANTS' MARKET - SWOT ANALYSIS 62
5.5 MERCHANTS' COMPETITORS 64
6. MERCHANTS CUSTOMERS 65
6.1 BUILDERS 66
6.1.1 House Builders/General Builders 66
6.1.2 Commercial Construction 67
6.1.3 Civil Engineering 68
6.2 PLUMBING AND HEATING CONTRACTORS 68
6.3 MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS 70
6.4 OTHER CONTRACTORS 71
6.5 CONSUMERS 72
6.6 LOCAL AUTHORITIES, PUBLIC BODIES INCLUDING HA/RSL/ALMOS 72
6.7 OTHER 73
7. PRODUCTS 74
7.1 PRODUCT MIX 74
7.2 MERCHANT SHARES BY PRODUCT 75
7.3 PRODUCT TRENDS 75
7.3.1 Plumbing and Drainage Materials 75
7.3.2 Heating and Ventilation 80
7.3.3 Timber and Timber Products 84
7.3.4 Bricks, Blocks and Concrete Materials 87
7.3.5 Cement and Plaster Materials 92
7.3.6 Kitchen Products 95
7.3.7 Roofing and Insulation Materials 98
7.3.8 Decorating Materials 101
7.3.9 Ironmongery and Miscellaneous Products 105CHART 1 UK BUILDERS AND PLUMBERS MERCHANTS' MARKET 2009 TO 2019 - BY VALUE £ BILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES 10
TABLE 2 GDP DATA - 2012-2015 - KEY CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS 14
CHART 3 INTEREST RATES AND INFLATION (CPI) FROM 2000-2019 16
CHART 4 PDI and SAVINGS RATIO AT CURRENT PRICES 2000-2019 17
TABLE 5 EXCHANGE RATE FLUCTUATIONS 2010-2016 - STERLING TO THE DOLLAR, AND THE EURO, SPOT RATES 19
CHART 6 DISTRIBUTION STRUCTURE - LIGHTSIDE 24
TABLE 7 UK BUILDING and PLUMBING MERCHANTS' MARKET 2009 TO 2019 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES) 27
CHART 8 GROWTH FORECASTS OF END-USE SECTORS OF MERCHANTS' MARKET, 2014-2019 30
TABLE 9 MERCHANTS SHARE OF UK CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT 2009 TO 2015 (£ BILLION CURRENT PRICES) 33
TABLE 10 UK CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT BY SECTOR 2010 TO 2015 EST - BY VALUE (£BN AT CURRENT PRICES) 35
CHART 11 HOUSING COMPLETIONS 2009 - 2019 - UNITED KINGDOM (‘000) 38
TABLE 12 NUMBER OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS IN UK 2009-2014 (X1000) 39
CHART 13 MERCHANTS' MARKET SHARES 2014 42
CHART 14 MIX OF MERCHANTS BY TYPE 2014 42
TABLE 15 KEY INDICATORS UK BUILDERS' MERCHANT MARKET - TRAVIS PERKINS PLC 44
TABLE 16 KEY INDICATORS UK BUILDERS' MERCHANT MARKET - WOLSELEY UK 45
TABLE 17 KEY INDICATORS UK BUILDERS MERCHANTS' MARKET - SAINT GOBAIN BUILDING DISTRIBUTION (JEWSON and GRAHAM) 47
TABLE 18 KEY INDICATORS UK BUILDERS' MERCHANT MARKET - GRAFTON UK BUILDING PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTION 48
TABLE 19 KEY INDICATORS UK BUILDERS' MERCHANT MARKET - SCREWFIX 49
TABLE 20 LEADING SMALLER REGIONAL MERCHANT COMPANIES 2014 54
CHART 21 MERCHANTS BY TURNOVER - 2014 56
TABLE 22 MERCHANTS PROFITABILITY 2010 TO 2014 58
TABLE 23 MERCHANTS DEBTORS LEVELS 2010 TO 2014 60
TABLE 24 MERCHANTS TURNOVER PER EMPLOYEE 2010 TO 2014 61
TABLE 25 PERCENTAGE CHANGE OF PRICE INDICES OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS 2010-2014 (%) 62
TABLE 26 MERCHANTS' MARKET - SWOT ANALYSIS 63
CHART 27 DIY MULTIPLES AND BUILDERS MERCHANTS SALES 2006-2015 (INDEX 2005=100) 64
TABLE 28 ENTERPRISES INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS REGISTERED FOR VAT BY TURNOVER BAND SIZE 2014 66
TABLE 29 PLUMBING, HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING INSTALLERS REGISTERED FOR VAT BY TURNOVER BAND 2014 69
CHART 30 MIX BY SERVICE TYPE - MandE CONTRACTORS - % BY VALUE, 2014 71
CHART 31 BUILDERS AND PLUMBERS MERCHANTS' MARKET PRODUCT MIX 2014 74
TABLE 32 BUILDERS and PLUMBERS MERCHANTS SHARE OF THE MARKET SECTORS 2014 AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES 75
CHART 33 UK MARKET FOR PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE MATERIALS 2009 TO 2015 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 76
CHART 34 UK BATH AND SANITARYWARE - % MIX BY TYPE OF INSTALLATION 2014 77
CHART 35 PRODUCT MIX FOR PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE MATERIALS MARKET 2014 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 78
CHART 36 THE HEATING AND VENTILATION MARKET 2009 TO 2015 - BY VALUE - £MILLION AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES 80
CHART 37 PRODUCT MIX HEATING AND VENTILATION PRODUCTS 2014 - % BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES) 82
CHART 38 UK MARKET FOR TIMBER PRODUCTS 2009 TO 2015 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 84
TABLE 39 IMPORT VALUE IN TIMBER PRODUCTS FOR CONSTRUCTIONAL USE -£'000, (2009 - 2015) 86
CHART 40 UK MARKET FOR BRICKS, BLOCKS AND CONCRETE GOODS 2009 TO 2015 - £ MILLION AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES 87
CHART 41 MIX OF BRICKS, BLOCKS and CONCRETE PRODUCTS 2014 BY VALUE £ MILLION AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES 88
TABLE 42 UK MARKET FOR BRICKS BY VOLUME (MILLION UNITS) 2009 - 2015 89
TABLE 43 UK CONCRETE BLOCK PRODUCTION AND DELIVERIES/SALES AND STOCKS (‘000 M2) 2009 - 2015 90
CHART 44 THE UK MARKET FOR CEMENT AND PLASTER MATERIALS 2009 TO 2015 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 92
TABLE 45 CEMENT AND READY MIXED CONCRETE PRODUCTION 2009 TO 2015 93
TABLE 46 SALES OF AGGREGATES IN GREAT BRITAIN 2009 TO 2015 (‘000) TONNES 94
CHART 47 THE DOMESTIC KITCHEN PRODUCTS (FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES) MARKET 2009 TO 2015 - BY VALUE - £ MILLION AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES 95
CHART 48 PRODUCT MIX IN THE KITCHEN FURNITURE MARKET 2014 (FURNITURE, WORKTOPS, SINKS and TAPS) - BY VALUE 97
CHART 49 UK ROOFING AND INSULATION MATERIALS MARKET 2009 TO 2015 - £ MILLION MERCHANT SELLING PRICES 98
CHART 50 PRODUCT MIX WITHIN THE ROOFING AND INSULATION MATERIALS MARKET 2014 - BY VALUE (£MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 100
CHART 51 UK DECORATING MATERIALS MARKET 2009 TO 2015 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANT SELLING PRICES) 102
CHART 52 PRODUCT MIX WITHIN THE DECORATING MATERIALS MARKET 2014 - BY VALUE (£ MILLION AT MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 102
CHART 53 MARKET FOR IRONMONGERY AND MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS 2014, % BY VALUE (MERCHANTS SELLING PRICES) 105

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