talking shop Buyer’s eye
Home Hardware leisure & housewares buyer Georgina Wells shares her tips on product selection and reveals what’s hot and what’s not
products are presented to the promotional committee of seven retailers for the final decision to be made.
[The committee members are: Nick Green of
Browns Home Hardware in Pershore, Andrew Lyne of John Lyne Home Hardware in Shipston- on-Stour, Rian Mowle of Northiam Home Hardware in Northiam, Dean Philips of Parkfield Retail Group in Rowland’s Castle, Alison Serret of Slees Home Hardware in Braunton, Heidi Southgate of Staines & Brights Home Hardware in Tiptree and Jenny Stemp of Brutons Home Hardware in Nailsworth.] With regards to everyday warehouse lines, we
What’s your background? I’ve worked in buying for 22 years, buying various products including garden planters, garden furniture, housewares, plumbing and fire safety equipment.
How would you describe your range? We stock an extremely extensive range of branded and own-label housewares available in our warehouse for our members to order on a weekly basis.
What are your key product offerings? Bins & liners, candles, clocks, crockery, cutlery, drinkware, fixtures & fittings, food storage, health care, mats, shopping baskets & trolleys, steps and stools, storage, textiles, water filtration, wine & dine.
What are your key brands? Acctim, Addis, Brabantia, Bruce Starke, Curver, H & L Russel, Hillbrush, JVL Home Solutions, Lucy Housewares, Price’s Candles, Simplehuman, What More UK, Whitefurze and William Armes.
What are your current best sellers? Own-label bin liners, Addis sinkside products, What More UK’s Crystal storage boxes, Curver storage baskets and candles.
How do you find new products? Visiting various trade shows, suppliers’ showrooms and regular meetings with our suppliers.
What’s your selection criteria? Once we are happy with the pricing that suppliers have quoted - and we are confident that there is enough margin in the product for it to work successfully for our members - the
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need to ensure that the products are commercial and that our pricing is competitive, before listing new lines and ranges.
What lines have you started stocking recently? Addis recycled products, sinkside and storage products.
What’s hot? Eco products and space-saving products.
What’s not? Plastic products - but they are still selling.
What’s next? More environmentally-friendly materials being used for new product development – and products that help keep your kitchen cupboards neat and tidy inside.
What are you most excited about for the upcoming season? I’m hoping to see new product innovation coming through for next year from suppliers, as recent trade shows have been a little disappointing. What More UK’s Wham Studio utility basket
range appears to be generating significant interest from both retailers and consumers alike.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Listing successful products that sell well for our members in their stores.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Listing and promoting new products with no sales history is always a challenge. Listing the wrong products, which only generate low sales, is extremely disappointing and costly.
The Home Hardware Christmas consumer advertising brochure is available in 4-, 8-, 16- and 20-page versions. The total print run is just over 1.3 million. It is distributed in November to con- sumers by Home Hardware retailers using the Royal Mail door-to-door distribution service
m/Housewaresnews October/November 2019
What More UK’s Wham Studio utility basket range “appears to be generating significant interest from both retailers and consumers alike”. Featuring a sleek design with a high gloss finish, these baskets can be used throughout the home
What advice would you give to someone starting out in housewares buying? Do your research before listing new products and learn market leading trends. Buyers have to work so far into the future that it’s not always easy selecting the right products for the following season. And don’t be too adventurous right away.
Start with a small range and build on it. Finally, review sales figures on a regular basis
to see how products are selling before increasing the size of the range.
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