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talking shop Buyer’s eye


Louise Lee, senior buyer for kitchen at housewares and hardware chain Robert Dyas, is looking forward to the peak trading season


Robert Dyas ethos for being innovative, practical and designed to last. Robert Dyas founded the company in 1872, and it was bought by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis in 2012. Theo is one of the UK’s most high-profile businessmen with an empire spanning retail, property and finance. The company has over 90 stores, mainly in the south of England, and also operates 24-hours a day online.


How would you describe your housewares range? Bakeware, cookware, gadgets and utensils and all manner of kitchen accessories, from china to kitchen trolleys! Ranges are aimed at the Robert Dyas customer offering good value, great products and convenience.


What’s your background? I started as a department assistant at House of Fraser raising purchase orders, and worked my way up to junior buyer before leaving and working for lots of well-known high street retailers at senior buyer level, gaining experience from fashion to homewares products.


Tell us a bit about Robert Dyas. It's an exciting place to work with great opportunities to roll your sleeves up and really trade and make a difference. We are part of the larger family of TPRG [Theo Paphitis Retail Group]. From the innovative to the everyday, you’ll


find everything you need for your home and garden, from cleaning solutions and kitchen essentials to the latest DIY gadgets and gardening must-haves - all at great prices. Our extensive selection ranges from some of the world’s most famous brands through to exciting new start-ups. The common factor between them all is that the products share the


What are your key housewares product offerings? We offer everything you would need for any cooking or baking task: before, during and after!


What are your key housewares brands? Robert Dyas’ own brand is core and key to our brand identity along with Joseph Joseph Duo, Tefal and Salter. Oxo, Circulon and Scoville also add to the brand portfolio.


What are your current housewares best sellers?


Joseph Joseph is flying as well as our range of kitchen trolleys, Scoville branded pans, our new chopping board range and our new stainless steel own-brand range of pans.


How do you find new products? I visit a huge trade fair in China twice a year, as well as [German spring exhibition] Ambiente, UK trade shows, competitors and social media to see which trends are growing.


What’s your selection criteria? Any product has to be good value for its price point, well made and does what it claims. It also needs to be something that benefits our customers with everyday tasks.


What lines have you started stocking recently? We've just relaunched our own-brand kitchen ranges that are products more worthy of our name and offer customers a well-made product at a great price. Joseph Joseph was introduced in August and has surprised us at how successful it has been. We are excited to announce that Le Creuset will be launching online and joining our brand stable.


New Robert Dyas Kitchen Range in store 38 | housewareslive.net • HousewaresLive.net • twitter.com/Housewaresnews October/November 2019


Robert Dyas’ Autumn 2019 offer includes (clockwise from left): hand-painted cheesecake mug in blue or stone £3.99 each; Robert Dyas bamboo chopping board small £3.49, medium £5.49; Typhoon Living storage canisters (tea, coffee, sugar) £7.99 each; Kitchen Utensils Design double oven glove £6.99


What’s hot? Hot is Joseph Joseph’s Duo collection, recyclable plastics and sustainable products:


What’s not? Spiralisers and plastic straws:


What's next? More and more, a move towards sustainability and recycling with an effort to reduce plastic usage and carbon footprints.


What are you most excited about for the upcoming season? I'm looking forward to our peak trading season when we really see the sales lift and the reaction to the seasonal newness. I think we have a great range of new gifting and tabletop that is going to really please our customers and give their Christmas a sparkle!


What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?


Seeing when a customer has chosen to buy something that I’ve had a personal hand in selecting or developing. You can't replicate that feeling.


What is the most challenging aspect of your job?


Balancing forward thinking without losing our core customer: moving them on without alienating them.


What advice would you give to someone starting out in housewares buying? Don't underestimate using common sense. Be ready to work hard. Remember you are buying for the customer; not yourself. And always TRY BEFORE YOU BUY.


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