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Leading Edge Management Consultancy Limited

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UPDATED VERSION - The 'Screwfix Phenomenon' - the market challenge of on-line & catalogue sales of building materials

THE conference: John Pratt's full report


The 91 page report is priced at 85.00 GBP plus VAT


The success of Screwfix Direct has been phenomenal. This building supplies business has seen year-on-year increases as its catalogue has grown in size and website traffic levels have steadily risen. The roll-out of Screwfix Direct Trade Counters has also progressed with over 60 listed.

This has spawned a number of imitators with a strong web presence. In addition, there are other more trade-specific sites that cover for example, electrical and plumbing supplies.


This report aims to provide a rounded picture of what is happening and where it is leading, so that builders' merchants and their suppliers can see what are the opportunities and the challenges.


This updated report is now based on four pieces of market research, specially commissioned in May-October 2007, covering:

  • A pilot of 31 Small builders, who are FMB members, who responded to an electronic survey from the Federation of Master Builders
  • A larger survey of 1502 FMB members who were surveyed by post and by email
  • 519 DIY customers, who responded to a telephone survey organised by Leading Edge
  • 66 Builders' merchants, who are BMF members and responded to an electronic survey from the Builders Merchants' Federation.

In addition, the latest companies' accounts for the on-line and catalogue distributors were obtained from Companies House to make an estimate of market size. Extracts from these are included.


The analysis and recommendations have been designed to answer these questions:

  • Isn't this a small activity compared with builders' merchants' sales volumes?
  • How do BMF members see the challenge?
  • Who is buying from them - isn't it just DIYers?
  • Isn't it mainly tools that they sell?
  • Will on-line/ catalogue sales continue to grow?
  • Why do people buy through on-line/catalogue channels?
  • But don't buyers find real problems with them?
  • And how are the on-line/ catalogue retailers developing?
  • How are builders' merchants planning to respond to this?
  • Why do people buy through builders' merchants?
  • What should builders' merchants be doing, individually & collectively?

How to get a copy of the report?

To download a copy of the 'ScrewFix Phenomenon' report, follow the instruction below:

  • Click on the button below marked 'Buy Now'
  • This button will take you to a secure area on the PayPal website. (If you don't have a PayPal account, it is quick and easy to set one up)
  • On completion of your payment, we will send you an email giving you your unique username and password, and a link to our client page
  • Use your details to login to our client area. Here you will be able to download a copy of the report.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that some credit card holders, such as American Express card holders, may be charged an additional currency conversion fee by their card issuer of around 5-10% on top of the stated price of the report. Please check with your credit card issuer if you feel that you may incur an extra charge, as Leading Edge are not responsible for this.

If you have any technical queries or experience any difficulties please e-mail us at , or you can contact us on 01189 797800.

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