• Who

    The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) is a brand of the Builders Merchants Federation. Developed and managed by MRA Research, it uses sales-out data from GfK’s General Builders’ Merchants Panel and includes a panel of leading industry Experts who speak for and explain their markets. For more information scroll down and click on the relevant links.

  • What

    This BMBI uses data from GfK’s ground-breaking Builders Merchants Panel, which analyses data from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain.

    GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel started collecting data in July 2014, and all trend data in the BMBI is indexed on the 6 month period July 2014 to December 2014. The monthly series tracks what is happening in the market month by month and includes an in-depth review every quarter. This trend series gives our industry access to far more accurate and comprehensive data than that available to other construction sectors.

    The reports also include views from our panel of leading industry experts to help explain trends, issues and opportunities in their markets.

  • Why

    Measuring the level of RMI (Repair, Maintenance & Improvement) work in the economy is hugely important to everyone including Government. Yet prior to the development of the BMBI there was no decent measure of RMI, or even an approximation of it. Many years ago, David Smith, the economist who writes for the Sunday Times, created a ‘Skip Index’ – an informal measure of RMI activity by builders and tradesmen based on the number of skips in his road. The Builders Merchants Panel provides an accurate alternative on a national scale.

    The BMBI is the only reliable measure of RMI building activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it is widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media commentators and influencers outside the industry. The latest Monthly Construction Update from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy includes BMBI as one of its sources.

    The Index has given the industry and the BMF the opportunity to build awareness and understanding of our markets and leading brands – a pivotal reason for developing it.

  • The Industry

    80-85% of the built environment you see is supplied by Britain’s builders’ merchants. Merchants and their suppliers are crucial to construction, which each year contributes more than £40 billion to the UK economy.

    The Builders Merchant industry is made up of builders’ merchants, plumbers’ merchants, timber merchants and other specialist merchants, who supply products and materials to construction companies, tradespeople and the general public. They make up and deliver orders and advise customers on which products to use for a particular job/s. The merchants are, in turn, supplied by merchant suppliers who manufacture/refine the raw materials/products that are sold by the merchants.

    Merchants sell building, plumbing and do-it-yourself products to the trade and the general public. Products include timber, bricks, decorating materials, plumbing supplies, tools and gardening equipment.

    For more information visit www.merchant-recruitment.co.uk/

  • The Builders Merchants Federation

    The Builders Merchants Federation is the only organisation that represents and protects the interests of Merchants and Suppliers to the building materials industry in the UK and Ireland:

    • With Central and Local Government throughout the UK and in Europe
    • With enforcement bodies like trading standards and planning departments
    • The BMF will act on individual members’ behalf in disputes and keeps members up to date on current business issues
    • The BMF is the primary provider of industry specific and specialist training for all employees covering everything from apprenticeships, through product and selling skills, to manager development and even a foundation degree
    • The BMF provides a range of services to assist members in running their businesses more efficiently

    Total membership from 1 June 2021 will stand at 750 merchant and supplier companies who together have combined sales of over £38bn and employ over 206,000 people in the building and materials industry.

    BMF’s 395 merchant members operate from over 5,800 branches across the UK and Ireland.

    Find out more

  • MRA Research

    MRA Research began life in 1992 and is now one of the UK’s longest standing research and insight companies solely serving the construction, building materials and home improvement markets.

    The company is accomplished in both B2B and B2C arenas due to the high-level expertise of its directors Mike Rigby (B2B) and Yvette Kirk (B2C). This means that MRA Research can seamlessly research complicated markets ‘end-to-end’, linking consumers, clients and specifiers through retailers, merchants, builders and installers.

    MRA Research is a five-time winner of the Research & Insight category at the Construction Marketing Awards (CMAs).

    Find out more

  • GfK

    GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions.

    More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries.

    By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

    Find out more

    The GfK Builders Merchants Panel:

    GfK’s data sample represents 80% of the country’s Multiple Generalist Builders Merchants, defined as those selling a mix of heavyside and lightside products through more than three branches or with an annual turnover of more than £3m. The panel includes national, multi-regional and regional merchants such as Travis Perkins, Selco, Jewson, Buildbase, EH Smith, Gibbs & Dandy, MKM, Parker Building Supplies, Bradfords, Covers, Sydenhams and Howarth Timber and Building Supplies.

    GfK insights go deeper than the category sectors contained in this document. They can trace product group performance and track features that are relevant to you. GfK can also produce robust like-for-like market comparability tailored to the requirements of an individual business. As more merchants join in to submit their monthly sales-out data the quality of this information can only become more extensive and rigorous. Merchants or Suppliers who are interested in getting involved should contact Emile van-der-Ryst at Emile.van-der-Ryst@gfk.com.

    Get involved

  • The Experts

    BMBI Experts are the voice of their markets. They make sense of trends for users of the building index.

    Experts are market leaders or brands who aspire to be leaders. They are companies that can legitimately speak for their markets. This includes explaining issues and opportunities in their markets, and where appropriate making the case for or against legislation, industry schemes or government policy.

    Meet The Experts