Last week drew together BHETA members for the organisation’s lastest networking forum, on 16 October.
The forum featured talks from The Home Depot’s Managing Director of European Sourcing, Massimiliano Zampella, Clive Daley, Head of Development for the UK at Manomano and Jim Copeland of Hardware Association Ireland.
BHETA’s home improvement and garden sector director Paul Grinsell opened the proceedings with an overview of the latest BHETA initiatives such as the association’s collaboration with GfK to enable exclusive member access to the latest EPOS data as relevant to the BHETA marketplace – something already proving extremely popular. He also outlined the latest developments on the export front including a joint forum with Gardenex in March and the forthcoming trade mission to Romania. Finally, he also announced year two of the consumer-facing National Home Improvement promotion, now extended to a month by popular demand and taking place in April.
Grinsell’s presentation was followed by an introduction to new associate member, cardboard POS specialist, N Smith & Co from the company’s Steve Wilkinson and an update on the latest developments to the home improvement section of Spring Fair from the event’s commercial director, Melanie Gividen. These included a new location adjacent to the Glee section and the possibility of beneficial terms for BHETA members.
Delegates looking for additional export opportunities were treated to a fascinating overview of the encouraging recovery of trade in Ireland as it once again emerges as something of a tiger economy. Jim Copeland’s presentation. ‘Trading with your closest neighbour: Ireland’ not only detailed the extraordinary levels of growth since the economic crash nearly a decade ago, but also outlined the key players and best routes to market for those not already doing business in Eire.
Torque-Expo Coventry seminar-giver Clive Daley, from Manomano, charted the growth of the online DIY platform since its launch three years ago. Unveiling the new branding and the plans for a far more high-profile marketing campaign, now that the product offering contains enough choice for the UK consumer, he described Manomano as now being ‘grown up’ and a leader in a ‘Make It Your Way’ home improvement revival, especially amongst the younger generations. Answering questions from delegates about the logistics of working with Manomano and its future plans, he outlined the potential of working with the company as collaborative, high profile, hassle-free and profitable.
The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer with more than 2,285 stores, up to 40,000 SKUs in bricks and mortar locations and a million online. Detailing the company’s evolution into today’s interconnected business, serving the DIY customer and the professional contractor, and with the industry’s largest installation business for the Do-It-For-Me customer, Massimiliano Zampella, or Massi as he is known, outlined opportunities for members both instore and online. The Home Depot offers ranges from tools and construction products, to appliances, kitchen and bathroom ideas to bbq and garden. It is also keen to develop its decorative category, which includes linens, furniture and tabletop products. Massi detailed the best approaches and most favourable routes as well as the requirements for prospective suppliers, the listing process and the potential timeline.
Paul Grinsell said: “The whole event highlighted the very many opportunities in today’s home improvement industry and provided BHETA members with an invaluable insight into the opportunities for trading in different routes to market.”
Housewares sector director Will Jones added: “With such a big turnout, the event also afforded excellent networking opportunities for all members, something which everyone at BHETA always find tremendously valuable.”
Torque is a member of BHETA: www.bheta.co.uk.