Practical advice for independent retailers at BHETA forum

Exploring opportunities for retailers in the independent market was the theme of the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s latest member forum.

In a well-attended session, held on March 14 at BHETA’s headquarters in central Birmingham, speakers set out their best tactics for a winning retail formula. 

In all cases, the most successful approach involved proactive co-operation between retailers and suppliers, based on long-standing and mutually supportive relationships.

Heading the agenda was Vin Vara, owner of The Tool Shop Group: a multi award-winning independent hardware and tool retailer based in central London, which lists housewares, hardware and DIY products in its nine stores.

His advocacy of using EPOS data, staff training and supplier-supported promotions and events, was a rallying call for likeminded operators. Vin is the 2016/17 incoming president of The British Independent Retailers’ Association (bira).

Mick Weedon, deputy ceo and director of communications of bira, reiterated the importance of promoting services as well as products in-store, and of events to attract custom.

The theme continued with presentations from Steve Collinge, md of website ‘Insight DIY’, which delivers news and commentary for the UK home improvement Industry. In his talk entitled ‘retail prices – how to avoid the race to the bottom,’ he stressed the importance new and exclusive products and the use of customer data to target precise markets – in particular the over 55s.

A presentation was also given by Paul Halliwell, chief operating officer of ‘lifestage trigger agency’ Twenty Ci, which specialises in strategy development, data provision, analysis and customer relationship management. He debated how the value of consumers varies according to life stage and how better targeting can yield better returns on marketing spend.

BHETA home improvement sector director Paul Grinsell said: “This was a very constructive session with some great advice and comment shared between all parties.  Yet again the theme of mutual benefit between retailers and suppliers proved its worth.”

For further information about BHETA events visit the website

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