talking shop Buyer’s eye

Home Hardware product manager for cookshop, dining & laundry Nicola Hundy talks preserving, eco credentials – and excessive packaging

Preserving is an important category for our members so, at this time of year, our top 20 best sellers include Porosan traditional labels and jam pot covers, Stewart jugs and funnels, bulk jam jars and honey jars and, of course, Kilner jars, bottles and accessories.

How do you find new products? We are constantly searching for new products to excite our members and their customers and to feature in our promotional catalogues. Our relationships with our suppliers are key to understanding what is coming through. We attend key trade shows and review key journals both in print and online. Social media influencers and artisanal producers are also a good source of ideas, trends and new products.

What’s your background? Tesco provided a fantastic foundation and experience in multiple retail buying, after which I worked in a number of top tier businesses.

How would you describe your range? Working with a vast range of suppliers from small independent manufacturers to large international companies, we have a comprehensive range of the best brands and own-label branded housewares products. With a focus on quality and value, we are constantly looking to add new and exciting products to help our members, through our promotional brochures, to attract both new and existing customers.

What are your key product offerings? Kitchenware, textiles, storage, tableware and water filtration.

What are your key brands? Our range of brands is extensive and includes the most popular global brands such as Addis, Beldray, Brabantia, Brita, Caroline Disposables, Chef Aid, Culinare, Curver, David Mason Designs (DMD), Dexam, Falcon, Judge, Kilner, Kitchen Devils, KitchenCraft, LocknLock, Mason Cash, Metaltex, Minky, Oxo Good Grips, Pozzani Pure Water, Pyrex, Sabatier, Salter, Stewart, Tala, Thermos, Tower and Wham, to name but a few.

What are your current best sellers? Our best sellers very much reflect ranges traditionally found in great hardware/cook stores: bin liners, plastic bowls and buckets, can openers, bean slicers, Pyrex jugs and bowls, and Caroline Disposables’ foil trays and lids. As our members can offer serviced sales, Kitchen Devils single knives feature in our top 20 kitchenware lines.

October/November 2019

What’s your selection criteria? Innovation, quality, price and new - not duplicate.

What lines have you started stocking recently? New for the Autumn season has been an extended range of products with eco credentials. BeeBee Wraps’ beeswax wraps, Eddingtons’ If You Care products and Ocean Savers’ cleaning products have all been added recently to the already popular LocknLock Eco range of storageware from JWP. Prestige’s Pointless Knives have also been listed.

What’s hot? ‘Care for our environment’- products with true eco credentials, which are sustainable, repurposed, recycled, locally sourced and made in the UK. Plus, the ‘made from scratch’ trend for in and out of the home: baking and homemade continues to be important with the focus on family and health.

What’s not? Excessive packaging.

What’s next? Colour. People want to be reassured that the future is bright! And ‘Global Village’ design influences.

What are you most excited about for the upcoming season? Fun and nostalgia - KitchenCraft’s new Nutcracker collection is a good representation of this.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Selecting products that are liked by our members and their customers.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Finding new products that generate sales and prove successful for members.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in housewares buying? Be open to advice and guidance - housewares suppliers have years of experience and expertise. Never stop exploring; you never know where you’re going to find your next best seller. And enjoy every moment - it’s a fantastic industry.


Home Hardware is a member-owned wholesale business for independent hardware retailers, housewares stores, ironmongers, cookshops and garden centres. With over 450 members, it’s billed as the largest organisation of its kind in the UK. Product manager for cookshop, dining & laundry

Nicola Hundy says: “With a commercial lens clearly focused on retailers’ needs, our centralised buying function enables our members to compete against multiple high street names and DIY superstores.” Leisure & housewares buyer Georgina Wells

adds: “By combining buying power, Home Hardware stores offer greater value for money. Prices are continually checked nationally to ensure our members provide the best deals to consumers.”

Home Hardware Upcott Avenue Pottington Business Park Barnstaple Devon

EX31 1NZ

01271 337479 KitchenCraft’s new Nutcracker collection is “a good representation of fun and nostalgia” | 37

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