BHETA supplier days and events offer the unique opportunity for DIY and Housewares suppliers to meet major retailers outside of the usual buyer channels.
‘Meet the Buyer’ days are exclusively open to BHETA members on application and are dedicated to finding mutually beneficial trading opportunities which might not otherwise have been recognised so quickly.
Dunelm 'Meet the Buyer' day - 30th November 2016
BHETA’s latest Meet The Buyer day with new retail partner, the home décor retailer, Dunelm was a resounding success. Over forty suppliers attended more than 65 appointments with eight members of the Dunelm buying team.
Mark Fitzgerald, Head of Buying at Dunelm explained what the company had been hoping to get out of the day, “We are always looking for new or existing suppliers who can demonstrate innovative products and / or offer strong promotional activity. The MTB format was a first for us, and we like to think that we are good at discovering new opportunities even from smaller companies anyway. However, there always specialists out there that we could be missing and it’s also great to revisit existing suppliers who may offer other things which we haven’t seen before, or which have only been shown to other departments.
BHETA Forum with John Lewis - 15th Nov 2016
Anna Berry, Head of Cook and Dine for John Lewis held an audience of BHETA members fascinated and in awe with her insight into JLP’s development plans and her own vision for Cook and Dine. Anna was the keynote speaker at the BHETA Networking Forum on November 15 at Vyse Street, Birmingham. The sell-out event also included an excellent line up of other speakers specifically chosen to highlight current opportunities and to stimulate debate on topical issues such as BREXIT and the recent devaluation of Sterling.
Also on the agenda was Richard Butler, regional director of the CBI. He explored the market in post-BREXIT Britain in a presentation which covered the CBI’s perspective on the issues that face UK PLC based on its canvassing of its one hundred and ninety thousand members.
BHETA Forum with Bunnings - 3rd Nov 2016
Bunnings UK and Ireland managing director PJ Davis chose a BHETA Networking Forum as its platform to outline plans for the rollout of the Bunnings brand in the UK and Ireland.
The event, the latest in BHETA’s very active programme of networking forums to be headlined by a key retail figure, was attended by 350 DIY, garden and housewares industry leaders.
BHETA members were treated to a comprehensive preview of Bunnings’ plans including details of at least three more pilot stores by the end of June 2017 as the company phases out the Homebase brand, and a further four to six by the end of next year. Bunnings plans to spend £500m transforming the Homebase business and adding to the estate with new stores. Mr Davis also confirmed that its core proposition would be refocussed on DIY, tools and consumables and an enhanced garden offer.
Morrisons 'Meet the Buyer' day - 6th Oct 2016
91 supplier appointments took place at the event which took place on October 6 near Morrisons’ head office in Bradford. There were nine Morrisons buyers present covering home maintenance, table top, cookshop - small domestic appliances; cookshop - storage/prep/gadgets; gardening and DIY; bed/bath/home décor; cookshop – bakeware; home maintenance and leisure/outdoor living.
“This event ticked every box, just as I hoped it would. It was great to give so many suppliers the opportunity to get a meeting with the Morrisons’ buying team.” So said Chris Stott, Head of Home for major grocery chain Morrisons commenting on the retailer’s first taste of one of BHETA’s successful series of Meet The Buyer days.
BHETA Forum - 19th May 2016
The recent member Forum held in May 2016 included an excellent line up of speakers specifically chosen to highlight opportunities in the industry and stimulate debate on a number of current issues.
These included a fantastic insight into Wesfarmers Bunnings, and Living through 'One' Kingfisher - the suppliers viewpoint. We also heard from Lee Mellor, MD of Keter Products / Curver Plastics, Valerie Dequen, General Manager of the French suppliers’ trade association, Unibal together with Stephane Dalimier, Director General of NMC France and Vice President of Fediyma and finally Guy Burtenshaw who gave members an update on the Home Press Event taking place in July in London.
Wyevale 'Meet the Buyer' day - 11th May 2016
Following a series of successful Meet the Buyer events hosted by BHETA and GIMA with The Wyevale Garden Centre Group (TWGC), the latest supplier development event took place 11 May 2016. A mix of 42 gardening, homewares and DIY suppliers took part in 56 appointments with 12 buyers from the Wyevale Indoor and Outdoor teams. The event was held at the Holiday Inn, Brentford Lock.
TWGC, the largest chain of garden centres in the UK issued a brief focussed on potential new suppliers – including niche companies - with new products or innovations covering both in-store options and premium ranges which present the opportunity to extend the online offer. Buyers from all the main categories participated including Horticulture, Gardening, Home, Giftware, Pet, Leisure and Toys/Kids.
Housewares Forum with Debenhams - 14th April 2016
Steve Lightfoot, Trading Director for Home at Debenhams was the headline guest speaker at the BHETA Forum on 14 April, an event that looked to the future in more ways than one. Steve, speaking on the day that Debenhams announced its interim results with earnings up 5.5%, delighted a packed room at Federation House with an upbeat insight into Debenhams’ strategic plans.
Opportunities for BHETA members were made very clear as he outlined the retailer’s commitment to building its non-apparel business in the form of home, furniture, gift, toys and restaurant.
Foretelling a “new golden age in retail by creating experience”, Steve confirmed Debenhams’ intention to continue the evolution of its online presence, but in tandem with the development of its stores, a reinvention of its traditional promotional strategy and a significant investment in infrastructure and systems to support its plans.
Wilko - 22nd March 2016
The latest BHETA 'Meet the Buyer' day with first time retail partner, Wilko was pronounced a success by both parties. The event took place on Tuesday 22nd March with 58 suppliers enjoying 95 appointments with nine Wilko buyers representing all the key homewares and DIY categories.
Wilko Retail was looking to engage with new or existing suppliers able to propose new and innovative core range listing opportunities for implementation SS 2017 and/or suggest immediate promotional opportunities that offer the Wilko customer outstanding value. All sizes of supplier from large players to smaller companies and one man bands attended.
Senior Buyer for DIY at Wilko, John Cosford commented on the participation of potential new suppliers the major High Street retailer had never seen before. “It’s going really well – there’s a broad range of companies here with new products and new ideas and the twenty minute appointment format allows us as buyers to see things we just wouldn’t have time to consider in a normal working day. This is one of those days when it’s a real pleasure to be a buyer!”
DIY Forum - 14th March 2016
The recent DIY forum featured a host of speakers relevant to independent retail. These included Vin Vara, owner of The Tool Shop Group, a multi award winning independent hardware and tool retailer based in central London. Vin is also the 2016/17 incoming President (May) of The British Independent Retailers’ Association (BIRA) and shared his views and initial thoughts of his year in office. He was supported by Mick Weedon, Director of Communications at BIRA who has a wealth of knowledge and experience of both independent hardware and cookshop retail.
Other speakers included Steve Collinge, MD of Insight DIY and Paul Halliwell, Chief Operating Officer of Twenty Ci, the UK’s leading lifestage trigger agency. The forum provided members with an up to the minute insight into the opportunities in the independent sector.
BHETA Credit Forums - Events throughout the year
Aimed at credit and finance professionals, the BHETA Credit Forums are co-hosted by Reynolds Trade Credit and Experian and is workshop and discussion-based. BHETA members who have not previously been to a Credit Forum are invited free of charge, while a full Credit Forum membership costs £350 per annum for the three sessions.
Commenting on the event, homewares sector director, Will Jones said, “Being a member of the Credit Forum brings many benefits, not least the latest information but also mutual support and shared experiences. As with all BHETA events, the networking opportunity always proves valuable as well.”
Hilary Dale of Brita Water Filter Systems Ltd added, “Going to the BHETA Credit Control Forum can be a huge help. Very often you have the same customers as other members who can help with any issues you have including getting the best contact details. Equally, you might be considering whether offer particular terms to a customer or prospect and someone else in the forum may have more information that will guide your decision.”
Home Hardware - 21st January 2016
BHETA's latest 'Meet The Buyer' day – this time with Home Hardware - has been proclaimed a success by all parties. Home Hardware is the largest voluntary organisation of its kind in the UK for independently owned housewares, hardware and DIY stores. The event took place on January 21st at Aztec West Hotel, near Bristol.
The six-strong buying team, headed by Head Buyer, Jim Chadwick, formerly of The Range, covered all categories from housewares and SDA to laundry to DIY and hardware to gardening. The brief was to focus on innovation. 39 participating suppliers were allocated 20 minute appointments and given a templated presentation format to ensure that the limited time was put to maximum use.
B&Q - 14th January 2016
The first 'Meet The Buyer' day with B&Q has been hailed a great success by both parties. The event took place on January 14th at the Hilton Hotel in Chilworth, Southampton and 12 members of the B&Q buying team attended.
Over 40 supplier appointments took place covering all categories from heavyside DIY to garden to housewares. BHETA member companies were able to present their ideas to the buying team in response to a brief which focussed on new and innovative products and also innovative packaging ideas.
Screwfix - 22nd October 2015
The fifth ‘Meet the Buyer’ event run by BHETA with leading multi-channel trade supplier Screwfix saw 60 new and existing suppliers attending the ‘Innovation Day’ on 22nd October 2015 at Yeovil Town Football Club.
During the event, 100 meetings took place with fifteen Screwfix buyers, as well as quality assurance, supply chain and marketing teams, comprising a product demonstration and a 20 minute interview. The emphasis was on innovation with the Screwfix team particularly looking for eco developments in products or packaging. Suppliers chosen on the day have the opportunity to participate in a six month online trial within their product category on the Screwfix website, which attracts over two million visitors per week.
Andrew Livingston, CEO at Screwfix, commented: “It is key for us to build relationships with all of our suppliers in the ongoing development of our brand offering, providing convenience for our customers through supplying new, industry leading products.”
Paul Grinsell at BHETA commented, “It’s great to be able to confirm that Screwfix will be working with BHETA yet again going forward. Many BHETA members have secured business through the Meet The Buyer format – with buyers and sellers under immense time pressure, this format is a win; win for all parties.”
Wickes - 2nd September 2015
BHETA held another successful ‘Meet The Buyer’ day with a brand new retail partner in the form of Wickes. The event was exclusive to BHETA members and took place on September 2nd at Watford Town Football Club on Vicarage Road, Watford.
The brief from Wickes was that it was interested in seeing new suppliers with products that will complement its trade and keen DIYer-focused current ranges. This included both branded and potential own-brand product.
As usual, all companies that attended were allocated a 20 minute appointment with their respective buyer or buyers. All relevant buyers were present on the day as were representatives from QA. More than 60 suppliers attended the event and over 100 appointments were made with 14 buyers.
John Miller, Head of Commercial Trading at Wickes commented, “It has been a brilliant day with 3 or 4 easy wins made in the first few appointments.”
Will Jones, BHETA Home Enhancement Director, also added, “This was an excellent day with the majority of buyers and suppliers very pleased with the levels of innovation and engagement from both sides. I have to also say that it was extremely pleasing to hear so may positive comments on how well organised and professionally run the event was. We even managed to sign up 2 new members as well!”
John Lewis - 2 April 2015
A follow-up 'Meet the Buyer' event was organised jointly with John Lewis for members to present new and innovative products to the Cookshop, Tabletop and Home Utility teams at the Hilton Hotel in Victoria, London.
The second 'Meet The Buyer' day with the John Lewis Partnership has been hailed a success. Over 40 suppliers held over 85 appointments with approx 12 buyers.
Peter Battersby of kitchen accessories company Charles Viancin summed up the day as he commented, “As a direct result of the meeting, we have now been listed in all 43 outlets, with an initial order for next month. I have never known such a speedy selection process for a major group. Interestingly, although the buyers had briefly seen our stands at Frankfurt and Chicago, it was not until the BHETA Meet The Buyer that they were fully able to appreciate the product features and benefits.”
Commenting on the ‘Meet the Buyer Day ’, BHETA’s home enhancement sector director, Will Jones said, “John Lewis is probably the most well known and respected department store retailer in the UK and is recognised for choice, style, quality and excellent customer service. This was therefore a very important opportunity for new and existing John Lewis suppliers and it’s fantastic that it went so well.”
Wyevale Garden Centres - 25 March 2015
A second 'Meet the Buyer' day with Wyvale was organised by BHETA in March 2015 as a follow-up to the event that took place in 2014. Participating companies were allocated a 20 minute slot with pre-agreed buyers. The event provided the opportunity for new potential suppliers to present their strongest and most relevant products for consideration by Wyevale.
Housewares Forum - 25th February 2015
BHETA's most recent Housewares forum headlined with David Hewitt, Merchandise Director at Bentalls in Kingston, responsible for the non-apparel trading functions across the store.
And in a fascinating counterpoint of retail styles, the forum also featured Richard Lancaster, Trading Director for Poundland, responsible for Trading and Marketing across all categories for its chain of 500 plus stores.
Argos - 19 February 2015
The latest in BHETA’s successful series of Meet The Buyer days – this time with the UK’s major multi-channel retailer, Argos - was declared ‘another great event’.
45 suppliers held over 75 appointments with 10 members of the Argos buying team. The buying team was supplemented by their online buying counterparts, opening up additional opportunities for suppliers.
The Argos buyers enjoyed what was for many a new experience and a number of follow up meetings are now scheduled as a result. BHETA suppliers, particularly new members, were also very complimentary acknowledging that BHETA had managed to secure appointments that they had failed to get through conventional means.
DIY Open Forum - 15th January 2015
In an upbeat BHETA forum on January 15th Ian Preedy, Group Commercial Director of Travis Perkins entertained a sell out audience of BHETA members on the very considerable opportunities in the Group, outlining the different approaches to the many light and heavy side Group brands – in particular TP, Wickes and Tool Station.
His views were very much echoed by Guy Malam of Tembė DIY who reflected on the success of the Hippo and associated brands in building mutually beneficial relationships in the DIY and merchanting sectors. The forum agenda also included presentations from GFK on the upturn in DIY and Garden and its new service covering the Builders Merchant sector. Fiona Russell-Horne (Editor of Builders Merchants Journal) added a fascinating insight into the evolution of the builders’ merchant sector as it lines up alongside conventional DIY and garden retail.
The event was held in the Warwickshire Suite at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground and Peter Stone, home improvement sector director of BHETA said, “This proved a really strong and resonant theme for members with consistent opinions from both players and analysts, as well as some very practical and down to earth advice on how to succeed in these markets today.”
Screwfix - 4 February 2015
The 4th Screwfix 'Meet the Buyer' was organised following earlier successes, offering members the opportunity to meet the whole Screwfix buying team.
DIY Forum - 18th November 2014
Commercial director of Homebase, Paul Emslie attracted both DIY and housewares members to The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s latest forum on November 18th, which took place at the famous Edgbaston cricket ground in a spectacular room overlooking the immaculately mown pitch.
Paul shared with BHETA members the latest strategic information on Homebase’s five year realignment programme which is now at the half way point, reporting successful progress including increased sales. The presentation put the much reported store closures into the context or major upgrades in the core Homebase estate plus the development of click and collect online solutions in conjunction with sister brand Argos. Read more.
Wyvale Garden Centres - 12 November 2014
The recent 'Meet the Buyer' day with Wyvale was organised jointly by the two leading industry trade associations; BHETA and GIMA. The event took place in November 2014. Participating companies were allocated a 20 minute slot with pre-agreed buyers. The event provided the opportunity for new potential suppliers to present their strongest and most relevant products for consideration by Wyevale.
The Range 'Meet the Buyer' - 17 June 2014
June 17th saw members of BHETA from garden, DIY and housewares sectors enjoying 70 appointments with buyers from leading home and garden retailer, The Range at the seventh ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in BHETA’s very popular series. Buyers from The Range, representing the store’s 65,000 product portfolio and 16 departments including DIY, Homewares, Furniture, Lighting, Arts & Crafts and Garden were looking to source products or promotions suitable for The Range’s mid-price but stylish home, leisure and garden strategy, which they had not seen before.
New and existing The Range suppliers attended and were allocated twenty minute appointments to present innovative products capable of delivering high volume sales at competitive prices and / or complementing existing product ranges. Commenting on the event, Jim Chadwick of The Range said, “All the buyers found it a productive day, particularly where suppliers crossed over categories and it allowed a more complete view of their offers. We found some good new products and will look to make it an annual event.”
The Garden Centre Group 'Meet the Buyer' day - May 2014
56 members of BHETA covering garden, DIY and housewares sectors enjoyed face to face time with leading garden industry retailer, The Garden Centre Group at the sixth event in BHETA’s extremely successful ‘Meet The Buyer’ series. Eight TGCG buyers, representing the Horticulture, Garden and Home categories were present plus two members of their Visual Merchandising team. All were available for appointments with existing and potential new suppliers at the event which took place in London on May 23rd.
Commenting on the event, Jasper Raby of The Garden Centre Group said, “The Meet The Buyers concept is a really good idea; it’s time efficient for us and enables the retailer to uncover new ideas which might never have been seen otherwise. In fact, there is room for this kind of forum on annual basis – we get many approaches from potential new suppliers throughout the year and simply cannot see all of them. To be able to refer those to BHETA for a Meet The Buyers day would be both helpful and positive for everyone involved.”
Lakeland 'Meet the Buyer' Day - January 2014
39 members of BHETA enjoyed face to face time with housewares industry major player, Lakeland at the fifth event in BHETA’s extremely successful ‘Meet The Buyer’ series.
Four Lakeland buyers, representing the categories briefed by Lakeland were present plus Matthew Canwell, Director of Buying. All were available for appointments with new and existing suppliers at the event which took place at the Hilton Hotel, Bromsgrove on January 16th.
Second Screwfix event following earlier sucess - Oct 2013
BHETA’s second Screwfix , ‘Meet the Buyer’ day took place in October 2013. The whole Screwfix buying team was present including the two heads of buying and this time the prize of an online listing agreed on the day was extended to six months on the Screwfix site. More details to follow shortly.
Screwfix Innovation 'Meet the Buyer' Day - Nov 2012
At the last Innovation Day in November 2012, the whole Screwfix buying team was present and suppliers had the special incentive of an online listing for products that impressed on the day.
BHETA was able to organize 150 twenty minute appointments, resulting in 42 suppliers taking part in the online trial, 171 products being listed and 49 going on to feature in the main catalogue.
Not surprisingly all parties were keen to repeat this success in 2013.
John Lewis Success - Nov 2012
The ‘Meet the Buyer’ day organised by BHETA with John Lewis in November 2012 proved a massive success for all parties and is expected to lead to a number of listings.
44 BHETA members enjoyed a total of 70 appointments with the John Lewis’ cooking, dining, gifts and utility buying team headed by Louise Stuart. Follow up meetings are already planned and a number of BHETA members are thought to be in line for business in both the shorter and longer term.
Robert Dyas Day a sell-out - April 2012
The ‘Meet the Buyer’ day organised by BHETA in April 2012 with garden and homewares retailer, Robert Dyas, proved a massive success for all parties and is expected to lead to a significant number of in store and online listings.
Forty BHETA members enjoyed a total of 76 appointments with the whole Robert Dyas buying team, both heads of buying and commercial director, Phil Green. Follow up meetings and subsequent listings are already planned in all categories, with garden and hardware said to be particularly strong.
A number of BHETA members are thought to be in line for business in multiple categories from garden to office to housewares.
Homebase Drive for Growth event - Aug 2011
The ‘Meet the Buyers’ day organised by BHETA with Homebase in August 2011 to give members a chance to interact with the kitchen, bathroom, furniture and homewares retailer, outside of the usual buying channels, was pronounced a phenomenal success by all concerned.
Sixty potential Homebase suppliers met with 31 Homebase buyers across 16 categories with a total of 158 appointments taking place overall at the event, which took place at the Holiday Inn next door to the Homebase headquarters in Milton Keynes.