BHETA’s networking forum on September 26 provided insight into all the potential routes to market for home improvement suppliers, especially those seeking options to complement their traditional multiples’ business. It also reinforced the need for all such opportunities to be explored.
Guest speakers from Selco, ManoMano and Stax combined to provide the perfect overview of the market, complemented by a practical and up to the minute assessment of the post-BREXIT economic situation from Paul Martin, Head of Retail at KPMG.
ManoMano is a French home improvement sales platform, now breaking into the UK market. Country Manager of the French internet home improvement and garden specialist, Nils Kernchen was joined by colleagues, Christina Cooper, UK Communications Manager and Clive Daley, Interim Head of Development to illustrate the opportunities for UK suppliers. The company describes itself as a ‘modern day shop window’, listing 177,000 products for home improvement and asks suppliers for range, competitive prices, the ability to manage orders and B2C transactions and ‘the ability to ‘wow’ customers’.
Finance Director, Rob Brewill of Selco Builders Warehouse - the trade exclusive self-select service builders' merchant, said Selco invests heavily in building relationships with so-called ‘White Van Man’ via extensive advertising and sports sponsorship. Rob highlighted a number of added value areas including tool hire – whole range including smaller items such as wheel barrows, online – click & collect and extended ranges – such as door furniture - so that a builder can take a traditional specification job that little bit further.
Joint MD of Stax, David Hibbert outlined the opportunity provided by the independent retail market – illustrating how the wholesale route can provide the perfect access for suppliers, eliminating the challenge of maintaining an on the road salesforce.
Paul Martin – Head of Retail at KPMG updated the forum on the latest on Brexit, he said: "many businesses are looking to relocate, due to the uncertainty."
He predicted that negotiations will last at least two to three years and that organisations need to become "leaner and meaner".