Travis Perkins is planning to open dedicated merchanting parks across the UK, offering the building trade “a comprehensive range of building, plumbing and interiors products in a convenient, catch-all location”.

The first site was opened at the Pentland Industrial Estate in Edinburgh on October 22 and comprises three of the group’s merchant brands – Travis Perkins, City Plumbing Supplies and CCF.

The idea is to supply a comprehensive range of building materials, including timber and sheet materials, other construction products, showers, bathrooms, boilers, insulation, drywalls and even renewable energy products, as well as offering tool and equipment hiring, in one hit.

“The opening of our first merchant park represents an extremely important development for the Travis Perkins Group and demonstrates that we have listened to the needs of our customers,” said Martin Meech, group property director.

“Housing three different merchant brands on one site means that trade customers can have access to a wider range of products and services.”

Further merchanting parks are planned to open around the UK over the next two or three years and Mr Meech said that they would be going into towns where Travis Perkins has no presence or its facilities need renovating.

When asked if the merchanting parks would have an adverse effect on independent timber merchants, Mr Meech noted that the “market is pretty large” and that there “will always be competition”.

“In towns where we are, we make our competitors bettter and they make us sharper,” he said.

Travis Perkins recently announced it was planning to create a network of timber specialists across the Midlands. The company is in negotiations with several acquisition targets, following its initial takeover of Leicester-based Shires Timber in July.