Spring Fair organiser i2i Events Group has revealed the shortlisted names for the Buyers Power List Awards ceremony, which makes its debut at the 2015 exhibition.
The awards are designed to recognise influential buying teams and individuals across all of the sectors represented at Spring Fair, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham from February 1-5. There are three categories: Power 30; Best Independent Retail Buyer or Team; and Best Multiple Retailer or Department Store Team.
The Power 30 will comprise 30 buyers who are influential and distinguished in their sector, because they are trend-setting, consistently make good buying decisions, have a passion to support their industry or have enhanced a retail brand through their own efforts.
The shortlist includes several housewares buyers: Nicola Hattersley, cookshop buyer of John Lewis; Michael Edwards, homewares buyer of The Range; Matthew Canwell, director of buying of Lakeland; Amanda Bell, head of homewares of Bentalls; Robert Faucherand, director of buying of Debenhams; Simon Woolgrove, senior buyer of Achica; Adam O’Sullivan, senior vendor manager of Amazon; Justin Kowbel, founder of Borough Kitchen; Ben Phillips, managing director of Steamer Trading Cookshop; Richard Barker, director of Cilla & Camilla; Amanda Reed, buying controller of Leekes; Veronica Davidson, buyer of Lakeland; Chris Gardner, buying manager-cookshop & dining of Selfridges; Sarah Brett, buying manager of Waitrose; Sarah Pheysey, housewares sales manager of Jarrold; Gillian Leahy, trading manager of Ocado; Dick Mawdsley, director of Utility; and Claire Solis, director of buying & merchandising of Dunelm.
The Best Independent Retail Buyer or Team will be awarded to buyers for a privately-owned independent store or chain of stores, either working individually or as a team. They will be assessed on their contribution to the industry, rapport with suppliers and their ability to differentiate their retail business in the marketplace. Housewares names on the shortlist include Abraxas Cookshop, R E Thorns DIY, W Hurst, Ludlow Homecare, Barton Grange Garden Centre and Scotts & Co.
The Best Multiple Retailer or Department Store Team will be judged on the level of support they give to the industry and care for suppliers, plus their ability to ignite retail trends, build brands and engage with customers. The winner will demonstrate a clear drive to excel in all these areas. The shortlist includes Marks & Spencer, John Lewis home buying team, 99p Store, Bentalls homeware team, Liberty, Habitat, Next, Debenhams, Morleys, Fortnum & Mason, Heals, House of Fraser homewares, Tesco and Oliver Bonas Gift & Home.
The Buyers Power List shortlist was compiled by an advisory panel that included representatives from The Giftware Association, the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) and the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA).
The shortlist and voting forms are now live on the Spring Fair website. Retailers and suppliers are invited to make their votes on up to five of the shortlisted individuals or companies in each of the three categories. The deadline to vote is Friday January 30. When nominations are closed, the votes will be tallied to arrive at overall category winners as well as a ranked order of the Power 30.
The winners will be announced on site at The NEC at an exclusive, invitation-only ceremony that will be held on Monday February 2.
For more information on the Buyers Power List and to cast your vote, please visit www.springfair.com/buyerspowerlist