Category Archives : Builders Merchants


Growth extends to all sectors to boost construction industry

Construction activity grew in Q3, making it the sixth consecutive rise in activity, according to the latest Construction Trade Survey.

Although private housing output slowed, this was offset by growth in all other sectors. Firms across construction, from SMEs to the largest contractors, reported increased output in the third quarter.

The survey’s key findings include:

  • Sixty percent of building contractors, on balance, reported that construction output rose in the third quarter of 2014 compared with a year ago
  • Private housing output in Q3 rose according to 35% of building contractors, on balance
  • Forty-three percent of building contractors, on balance, reported that private commercial output rose in the third quarter of 2014 compared with a year ago
  • Private industrial output in Q3 rose according to 41% of building contractors, on balance
  • Sixty-eight percent of firms reported labour costs rose and 74% of firms reported that materials costs rose in Q3 compared with the previous quarter
  • Eleven percent of building contractors, on balance, reported a fall in margins in Q3 compared with Q2
  • Forty-one percent of building contractors reported difficulties recruiting bricklayers in Q3 compared with 47% in Q2, and 39% of building contractors reported difficulties recruiting carpenters in Q3 compared with 47% in Q2
  • Construction firms also reported rises in forward-looking indicators, such as orders and enquiries. A rise in Q3 order books in private housing was reported by 15% of contractors, on balance. A further 13% and 12% of firms reported rises, on balance, in order books across private industrial and public non-housing, respectively.

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We’re extending our support hours…

Having listened to customer feedback and in recognition of our customers typical opening times, we’re extending our support hours at both ends of the day.

From Monday 14th July 2014, our Support Desk will be available:

Mon – Thur: 08:00 – 18:00
Friday: 08:00 – 17:00

Q. Has the process in which we log a support call changed?

A. No, you still log support calls in the same way: 01246 457170, support@merlinsw.co.uk or via the online support form.


Merlin customer, Kent Blaxill, opens new branch in Huntingdon

The Mayor of Huntingdon, Bill Hensley, cut the ribbon to officially open a new Kent Blaxill decorating materials branch in the town last week (May 1), the company’s ninth store.

Welcoming the company to the town, Mr Hensley said: “It is great to see another business opening in Huntingdon. It is the fastest growing town in the fastest growing county in the country.”

He was addressing staff, customers and suppliers at the new 3,147 sq ft Kent Blaxill store located at Unit 1, Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate, St Margarets Way, Huntingdon, PE29 6EB – three minutes away from the A1/A14.

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Cromwell Group, Europe’s leading independent Industrial Product supplier, chooses Merlin Business Software

After becoming Merlin’s largest customer, the project that will see Merlin Business Software implemented in Cromwell’s sixty-six branches worldwide has now passed the half-way point and is set for completion in the final quarter of 2014.

Benchmarked against numerous software solutions, Cromwell’s decision to implement Merlin Business Software as their new company-wide, ERP system is testament to Merlin’s industry specific features, flexibility and its ability to be scaled to any sized business. Michael Kerins, Managing Director of Cromwell Group said. “I would suggest that for any business the decision to change their business software, something that touches and impacts every aspect of the company, isn’t one that should be taken lightly. Indeed we were certainly extremely diligent in our approach, reviewing many solutions before creating a shortlist and finally deciding that Merlin was the best fit for our business.”

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CPA forecasts 18% growth by 2017

The Construction Products Association’s (CPA) latest forecasts predict activity in the construction sector will grow 18% by 2017.

The CPA’s latest Forecasts highlight that the industry recovery is becoming stronger and broader, with activity being driven by rapid increases in private housebuilding, together with growth in the infrastructure and commercial sectors.

The forecast believes construction output will rise by 4.5% this year and by a further 4.8% in 2015, while private housing starts are set to rise 18% in 2014 and 10% in 2015.

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