The debate will centre on the ongoing issues faced by builders’ merchants and construction materials suppliers as they strive to keep the sector on track throughout the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Builders’ Merchants News is teaming up with Bristan, Britain’s number one for taps and showers, to host a virtual round table discussion tomorrow (Tuesday 10 November 2020).

Held via a virtual meeting platform from 2pm onwards, Bristan Group Vice President of Sales, Ian Hansell, and Trade Sales Director, Gareth Griffiths, will be joined by a select group of industry professionals from merchant and supplier management positions, including John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation.

Topics will be posed in a discussion format chaired by Tim Wood, BMN Editor. Questions lined up to address include:

  • How well do you think the merchant sector as a whole is coping with Coronavirus?
  • What are the challenges of a second national lockdown and how does it compare to the first?
  • What are the major challenges your business is facing right now?
  • How are your businesses adapting, what have been the benefits of changes so far and what are your success stories?
  • How has the relationship between suppliers and manufacturers evolved during the pandemic?
  • How will suppliers and manufacturers work together for the future?
  • With no live events, such as exhibitions, conferences and forums, held and face-to-face meetings much reduced, how have you ensured there is regular engagement with customers?
  • Digital sales have increased significantly during the pandemic, how is your business using digital differently and can you share your online ordering and click and collect success stories?
  • What does the future hold for the merchants, suppliers and manufacturers?

The debate will be videoed, recorded and transcribed and will appear in Builders’ Merchants News as a printed article in the November/December issue, while soundbites and the full video will be used across the websites and social media platforms of both BMN and Bristan.

“As we head into the Winter and prepare for whatever the next phase of the pandemic brings, now is the time to come together and share lessons learnt from the first wave," said Ian Hansell Bristan Group Vice President of Sales. "We are committed to listening and working with merchants to keep business flowing for our customers. I do hope you’ll join us.”