Key to the new strategy is making sure local branches are at the heart of communities throughout the UK.

STARK Group, Europe’s leading builders’ merchant and distribution group, is celebrating its first 12 months of operating in the UK, with its CEO acknowledging the ‘decency, pride and passion ingrained in the company’s DNA’ and the clear signs that the company is on track to transform ‘from good to great’.

John Carter has marked the anniversary, describing the past year as one that has revealed brilliance at every level.

Carter confirmed STARK UK’s Trust in Better strategy is well underway. He said: “This has been a fast-paced year with an ambitious agenda. We’ve covered a lot of ground, and we are making good progress on our journey of transformation.”

Key to the strategy is making sure local branches are at the heart of communities throughout the UK.

Carter believes branch managers are ‘managing directors in their own right’, with a focus on being the number one builders’ merchant in every town and city.

He said: “We’re putting in place the right support and investment so that our branch teams are able to provide the high-quality products, services and expertise that the UK’s professional tradespeople need and want, so they can look after their own customers and grow their businesses successfully.

"We’re proud to partner the trades, and that’s why it’s important that we continue with our plans, and I’ve been delighted with the dedication and positive energy I’m seeing from colleagues, right across the business.”

On 1 March 2023, STARK UK was officially established, with STARK Group having acquired a collection of businesses from Saint-Gobain, including Jewson, Jewson Major Building Solutions, Jewson Partnership Solutions, Jewson Civils Frazer, Minster, JP Corry, Normans and International Timber. Carter was announced as the STARK UK CEO on the same day.

While the market conditions continue to be challenging for the industry as a whole, Carter explained that STARK UK remains committed to ‘taking a bigger slice of the smaller pie’, following the lead of STARK Group to become the number one builders’ merchant in the UK.

He concluded: “We want to offer the very best merchant service to our customers. Our ambitions are high and it’s an exciting time.”