Opportunities galore for 325 delegates galore at BHETA’s networking forum
BHETA’s networking forum on April 21 attracted over 325 delegates from across the DIY, garden and housewares industries, keen to understand supplier opportunities not only with Amazon, but also with one of the leading omnichannel distributors, Decco.
The event was fantastically well received, with this feedback from Keter UK being typical: “I would just like to thank you for such a great day …… I was able to network with some great people and came away with extended knowledge and resources which I have put forward to the business to help grow new opportunities moving forward.”
Amazon UK Managers for Homewares and Furniture (Jeff Wemyss) and Tools and Home Improvement (Oliver Sawers) treated a packed house at the Ricoh Arena to some terrific insights into the online retailer’s plans to expand with additional suppliers and additional selection. Senior members from Jeff and Oliver’s teams joined them for over-lunch networking with individual delegates, who were delighted to have the opportunity for face to face discussion. In their presentation, Jeff and Oliver outlined several vendor services and introduced a number of new consumer facing services which could really take the supplier opportunity to new levels. Amazon is working with BHETA to build a proactive ‘creating value together’ relationship, including events such as Meet the Buyer, vendor workshops and fulfilment centre visits.
Equally exciting was a presentation by Charlie Lacey, Chief Operating Officer of Decco, outlining the opportunities with this family company, 80% of its turnover being home and garden products, and 20% construction products. Not only is the company continuously looking to attract new suppliers and new products to enhance its wholly branded portfolio, Charlie demonstrated how the company’s logistical excellence was in itself a great opportunity. With its partnership approach, offline and online support services, stock holding, fleet, promotional programmes and trade shows, the Decco network could be utilised as a means to penetrate new markets as well.
Co-ordinating perfectly with the forward-looking themes of the day, Daniel Fearnley, Head of Home at GfK outlined the latest consumer data on both online retail and the consumer shopping journey in general. The GfK presentation included plenty of interpretation and practical advice about how the supplier can maximise purchase of its products and brands regardless of the particular retail channel.
By the end of the forum delegates were very much in the right frame of mind to act on the advice of the first speaker of the day, Clive Daley of mdj2 Associates who delivered some really practical solutions for suppliers attempting to negotiate the cost implications of fluctuating currency with their retail partners. Advocating a number of possible strategies including multi-level relationships and value engineering, Clive’s presentation covered not only collaboration, but when necessary a more aggressive approach. Given the immense positivity of the day, many delegates left feeling considerably more optimistic about the opportunities that are there for proactive operators.
Commenting on the forum as a whole, BHETA’s housewares sector director, Will Jones said, “Big picture politics just keeps on presenting surprises – all of which impact on economic prospects one way or another, yet today’s speakers all confirmed how much potential there is for growth in the home and garden market if we work together as partners for the greater good.”
BHETA’s DIY and garden sector director added, “It was great to welcome so many delegates keen to engage and to hear from really excellent speakers who want to work in a mutually supportive manner. We have received considerable numbers of positive comments from delegates. The following from Keter UK really sums up the impact of the event: “I was able to network with some great people and came away with extended knowledge and resources which I have put forward to the business to help grow new opportunities moving forward.”
For more information about BHETA’s retail engagement programme and BHETA membership in general, contact the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130 or visit the BHETA website www.bheta.co.uk.