Gifts Today magazine

BHETA holds buyer day with Dunelm

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s latest Meet The Buyer day with home décor retailer Dunelm is resounding success

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s latest Meet The Buyer day with new retail partner, the home décor retailer, Dunelm was a resounding success.

Over forty suppliers attended more than 65 appointments with eight members of the Dunelm buying team. The event took place in Dunelm’s home town of Leicester on November 30.

Mark Fitzgerald, head of buying at Dunelm explained what the company had been hoping to get out of the day, 

“We are always looking for new or existing suppliers who can demonstrate innovative products and / or offer strong promotional activity. The MTB format was a first for us, and we like to think that we are good at discovering new opportunities even from smaller companies anyway. However, there always specialists out there that we could be missing and it’s also great to revisit existing suppliers who may offer other things which we haven’t seen before, or which have only been shown to other departments. In the event, we discovered new opportunities of all kinds and the twenty minute format really focusses both parties on what’s really important.”

Claire Barton, head of cookshop at Dunelm adds, “We’ve certainly found a new supplier for premium dining and tableware, so for that alone, this has been a good day. But overall, it’s the format that’s so helpful. We could never see this many suppliers and potential suppliers in this amount of time through normal channels.”

One of the suppliers at the event, Roger Murphy, MD of Eddington’s echoed the thoughts of the Dunelm team. “We supply Dunelm with seasonal lines already, but this was a great opportunity to present other products in our range with a view to extending our presence throughout the year.”

The Dunelm brief was aimed at all sizes of supplier from large players to smaller companies with limited resources. Each appointment was limited to twenty minutes and a maximum of two people from each company were allowed. Suppliers and prospects were encouraged to visit one of the following stores prior to the event - Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Redditch, Weston-Super-Mare and Rustington – to identify opportunities.

BHETA director, Will Jones comments, “As always, MTB is a unique opportunity for existing and potential suppliers. I was particularly happy to see the number of smaller suppliers who attended the event. Whether or not they all secure immediate listings, they will all have gained invaluable experience that will pay dividends in the future.”

For more information about future BHETA events, contact Nicola Adams-Brown on 0121 2371130 or email - or visit the BHETA website

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