NMBS now has over 3,000 member branches within the UK, which is more than any national merchant, twice as many as McDonalds and three times as many as Starbucks.

Together NMBS independent members represent the most effective route to market for any supplier and clearly together they have the greatest reach of any merchant group.

Speaking on this landmark achievement, which closely follows NMBS’ 50th anniversary year and its recent amalgamation with United Merchants, Chris Hayward, managing director, said: “The success of NMBS and its members in achieving this latest milestone fully reflects the valuable benefits NMBS offers to independent merchants, and the major attractions provided by pooling expertise and resources and working together."

Aside from providing independent merchants with a good indication of NMBS’ continuing growth and popularity, the buying society is also keen to point out that its latest achievement carries very positive implications for suppliers.

“NMBS’ penetration into the market and the massive proliferation of builders’ merchant branches now being operated by our members make us arguably the most effective route to market for any building industry supplier. It is incredible to think that we have a much bigger footprint than such well known retail brands as McDonalds and Starbucks which seem to be on every corner,” said Mr Hayward.

“No other merchanting group can currently offer the same degree of national presence or UK-wide reach and we look forward to working with our supplier partners in growing even more our 40% share of the merchant marketplace, with our members combined annual sales already in excess of £6.4bn.”