The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s first Meet the Buyer day with B&Q has been hailed ‘a great success’ by both parties.
The event took place on January 14 at the Hilton Hotel in Chilworth, Southampton, and 12 members of the B&Q buying team attended.
A total of 84 appointments took place, covering categories from heavyside DIY and garden to housewares. Some 55 companies presented their ideas to the buying team, in response to a brief which focused on innovative products and packaging ideas.
In particular, B&Q was looking for products/kits that make the job easier for customers, products that sell well in other hardwareretailers around the world, and any areas where a gap in the current offerings from B&Q could be addressed.
For the successful companies on the day, there is no listing fee. B&Q advised that a presence on its website represents the quickest to market option, with trading within 14 weeks a possibility. B&Q online is currently achieving four million hits a week and is the fastest growing part of the business. For those suppliers selected to go straight into store, retail opportunities are expected to go live by August.
BHETA home improvement sector director Paul Grinsell commented: “This was a great day. It was the first time we’ve worked with B&Q in this way and the mutual benefits were plain to see. I’m very hopeful that further opportunities can be organised – and I know there will be no shortage of interest.”
B&Q category director David Lennon added: “Overall the day was a great success. It’s the first time B&Q has launched anything like this and the energy around the day, from both the suppliers and the B&Q buying teams, was really encouraging.
“We know B&Q can be seen as a difficult business to which to present innovation or newness, so in my categories we wanted to address this, and give suppliers of all sizes the opportunity to present.
“My buying teams believe they have found upward of 100 new products that will make their way into our assortment over the next few months. We hope to repeat the day several times per year.”
Companies interested in taking part in future BHETA Meet The Buyer events should contact BHETA on 0121 237 1130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com in the first instance, or visit the website www.bheta.co.uk.