Key sales appointments at Crest Garden Crest Garden has increased their sales team with the appointment of a national account manager and a new area sales manager.

Katie Smith joins the company as national account manager responsible for national, multiple, online and key international accounts. She has a background in medical sales and has travelled extensively. Her experience includes business planning, sales

training and organising in-store events. Commenting on her appointment, Colin Smart, Commercial Director said “Katie brings a vast amount of big brand experience to the Crest Team and we look forward to her driving the Award winning Crest Brands forward”

area sales manager from a well-known garden

Hannah Shoesmith, jjoining Crest as centre

where she was an experienced buyer of garden sundries.

Crest Garden sales manager, Adrian Aitken, said: “We are really pleased to welcome Hannah to the team. Her experience of the garden centre shop floor and buying office will be a huge benefit in her new role. With both our ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign and the launch of our Autumn promotions, Hannah has exciting times ahead.”

Dobbies appoints new CEO Dobbies has announced the appointment of Graeme Jenkins as chief executive officer with immediate effect. Graeme was previously chief operating

officer, having joined Dobbies as chief financial officer in 2016 following the acquisition of Dobbies by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital. Chairman of Dobbies, Andrew Bracey said: “The Board is delighted to

appoint Graeme as our CEO, having worked closely with him over the last two years. We would also like to thank Nicholas Marshall for his support and leadership during his time as CEO. The Board wish him well for the future.”

Decco appoints new manager at its Leeds branch The home improvement and garden wholesaler has taken on Martin Sutcliffe as manager for Decco Leeds, following Andrew Ballantine’s promotion to chief operating officer. The appointment was effective from August 1. Mr Sutcliffe joins Decco from sister company Edmundson Electrical, where he began his career in 2011 as a graduate

trainee. Since then he has managed three different branches; the most recent being Edmundson Electrical Grimsby.

He said of his new appointment: “I’m delighted to be joining one of the most respected names in the garden and home improvement industry in these exciting times.

Scott Parnell appoints new MD of hard landscaping division Ian Griggs will take up the role overseeing the division, which is a recently-launched venture for the company. Mr Griggs has 30 years’ of experience in the industry, having previously held roles at competitor businesses, including company sales director at Burdens and, most recently, as national main contractors account manager at Tobermore.

Managing the latest addition to Scott Parnell’s specialist portfolio, Mr Griggs will be responsible for the overall business strategy for the landscaping department, and developing successful relationships with suppliers and customers.


10 minutes with... Andrew Dixon

Former retail buyer and newly-appointed Yale retail sales director for the DIY channel

How did you get to where you are today? What’s your background? I have always worked in retail, starting my career at Marks and Spencer in a management trainee position in stores.

Following this, I worked at several well- known retailers, with my most notable role being at Tesco, where I held the position of senior buying manager.

I then moved on

to B&Q and Kingfisher, where I held various senior commercial leadership roles, which included head of buying and category director, respectively. Working in retail is always fast paced and customer focused – both aspects that I have always enjoyed. I have always wanted to be adaptable, actively listening and learning in each of my roles, pushing me to broaden and develop myself as a leader.

What is your favourite thing about working in the industry? Retail is such a fast-paced environment, which means it’s always changing!

What motivates you?

My main motivation is to help developing businesses and the people around me to achieve success.

What is it like making the switch from retailer to supplier? How will that knowledge and experience help in your new role?

Being able to see trading challenges from both sides is great. I have been able to share my experience with my team, which has, in turn,

had a positive effect on our strategy and tactics moving forward.

Is there scope for more strategic partnerships between retailers and suppliers, and will it will create more opportunity in the DIY sector? Strategic partnerships will create big opportunities for the right retailers and suppliers. It will require alignments in business, (both retailer and supplier) strategies – design, costing and sourcing, but flexibility on both sides will be required. Those who can find the right balance will create value.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? To believe in yourself.

What are the biggest issues facing the home improvement retail sector today?

The rapid pace of change, particularly technology and the effect technology has on the customer journey.

What do you think the next 12 months hold for the sector as a whole – are you optimistic or pessimistic?

I’m optimistic! Every year is challenging. However, the next year is going to bring a number of challenges and opportunities, specifically associated with Brexit. That said, those companies that know their customer and have focused plans will win. Customers will always want to improve their homes.

Photo: Stewart Attwood

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