The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s latest Meet The Buyer day – this time with Home Hardware – has been proclaimed a success by all parties.
The event took place on January 21 at Aztec West Hotel just off the M5 near Bristol. The brief was to focus on innovation. A total of 39 participating suppliers took part in 66 twenty-minute appointments, each with a templated presentation format to ensure that the limited time was put to maximum use.
Home Hardware’s six-strong buying team, headed by head buyer Jim Chadwick (formerly of The Range), covered categories from housewares and small domestic appliances to laundry , DIY, hardware and gardening.
Commenting on the event, Jim Chadwick said: “Meet The Buyer offers us a unique opportunity to meet lots of suppliers in one day and as a result, they are ideal for sourcing new products for our seasonal mailers, cookshop promotions and Summer Living catalogue.”
Will Jones of BHETA said: “It was extremely rewarding to see an established business like Home Hardware having the courage and resources to take a new strategic direction in order to drive the business forwards.
“Its new category approach introduced across all product sectors is very exciting, and an opportunity for all suppliers big and small. This is a great example of a retailer using BHETA’s Meet The Buyer programme to communicate a new approach.”
Delegate Mark Newbold of Metaltex added: “We have dealt with Home Hardware for years but it is interesting to see them looking at the whole category now that Jim has joined the business. It is good to be involved at the start of the changes.”
Fellow delegate James Grey of Hotplate Products agreed. “Meet The Buyer gives me an insight into a retail company, and whether we are right for each other. Even though 20 minutes is a very short time, it’s very useful to meet the category buyers face-to-face and understand their business.”
Home Hardware is the largest voluntary organisation of its kind in the UK for independently owned housewares, hardware and DIY stores. It comprises some 450 members including independent hardware retailers, housewares shops, cook shops, ironmongers and garden centres. Owned by the retailers it serves, Home Hardware enables its members to compete against multiple high street names and DIY superstores by combining buying power. The company provides national distribution from its two distribution centres at Barnstaple and Bedford.