the big interview

consulting and studying the facts in order to ensure that it can yet again take a leading role in a collaborative response.” Alongside working with the BHETA

executive team and fellow members, Alastair does have another objective on which to focus while he is president, and that is to help drive BHETA membership. As such a passionate advocate of the concept of an association as a means of getting results, he is keen to encourage others to join. “Small companies have so much to gain in terms of introductions to retailers and assistance with export - both things that are sometimes hard to achieve working in isolation - and the diversity of BHETA ensures that it will be supportive,” he says.

“But for big players too, the benefits of working together on issues common to all of us can be significant. It’s not expensive and I also think that it can be satisfying to be able to give back to the industry. A pleasure in fact - and maybe a responsibility too.” In whatever leisure time he has, Alastair

enjoys playing both tennis and golf “to an average level”, but the lasting impression is of a man whose heart is in the housewares industry almost as much as it is in things closer to home. “We need to find ways to work together in

a proper manner,” he concludes. “We need to add heft to what we are about.” Being president of BHETA may just add another level to his ability to do that very well.


BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association) is a UK trade association for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors in the home enhancement market encompassing the home improvement (DIY), garden, housewares, and small electrical sectors. It has over 320 members, representing £11 billion at retail sales and 15,000 employees. It is run by a non-executive board and led by an elected president and treasurer, all managing

directors or chief executives of BHETA member companies. The board meets quarterly to discuss governance, finance and industry initiatives in which the association should take a role. There is also an executive team, headed by the executive chairman and chief operating

officer, a financial director, two sector managers responsible for home improvement (DIY) and housewares, a marketing manager, member services manager and member services team. Three specialist committees for home improvement, housewares and export, comprising senior representatives from leading member companies, meet regularly to ensure that members receive advice and support. The housewares committee role is to represent and protect members’ interests, assisting

with their commercial success and adding value to their businesses. The committee members are: Richard Walker - Eddingtons (Chair), Will Jones - BHETA, Seema Grantham - BHETA, Mark Baumann - Meyer Group, Kate O’Neil - Rayware, Paul Shelley - Haus Marketing & Distribution, Mark Newbold - Metaltex, Michelle Dickinson - Burton McCall and James Hooper - Black + Blum.

BHETA Federation House 10 Vyse Street Birmingham B18 6LT 0121 237 1130

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