Challenges That Builders Merchants FaceJanuary 6, 2017
Independent builders’ merchants aren’t like supermarkets or other retailers who can rely on regular, predictable trade. You can’t simply stick a ‘25% off’ sign in your window and hope that passers-by will flock in to part with their cash.
We came across an article from Integrity Software that develops these issues. They have kindly given us permission to reproduce extracts here. Thanks, guys! You can read the whole article here: Five Everyday Problems Unique to Building and Plumbing Merchants.
Attracting passing trade
High street stores make a large proportion of their sales through eye-catching window displays and racks of impulse-buy goods. Independent merchants, however, are often located on out-of-town industrial estates.
Merchants’ ranges of products aren’t that suitable for impulse buys, so profit margins need to be much tighter if they are to remain competitive. You have to inform your customer base that you have a sale on.
Retailers that have a high turnover of stock won’t be too adversely affected by the presence of dead stock. But if you supply petrol generators and specialised power tools, you can have products in the stockroom that aren’t touched for months. To be successful, any construction industry trader must have extra-tight and efficient stock control.
Hardware merchants must undertake more detailed admin processes than many retail equivalents. As well as stock control, there is the need for equipment, rental and lease agreements to be signed off and recorded; legislation often has to be taken into consideration. It’s all too easy to be lost in a sea of paperwork.
All of the above issues can adversely affect profitability. It can be more of a challenge for a construction industry trader to chase profits than for a generic retailer. Merchants have to be up with the game and make use of retail management software solutions.
So, if you’re a customer, spare a thought for your local Builders and Plumbing merchant. Recommend them to your friends as a more knowledgeable alternative to big-name stores. And if you’re a merchant, companies like Integrity Software are happy to advise you on the latest automated helps.