BHETA Forum highlights Housewares Opportunities
A packed house of more than eighty members at BHETA’s latest networking forum on November 9th enjoyed presentations from a line-up of speakers invited to highlight opportunities in housewares and stimulate debate on some very topical issues.
Steamer Trading Chairman, Ben Philips and new Chief Executive, Mark Saunders outlined not only the history of the brand, but also its current profile and plans. Founded in 1985, it now has 42 shops, two websites and employs over 500 people. With a top end offer appealing to fifty-plus consumers and ‘real foodies’, its brands include Steamer Trading, Kitchens Cookshop and Divertimenti. Its objective is to become an omni-channel retailer of lifestyle products, opening more stores (including outlet stores, growing the e-commerce business, capitalising on the Divertimenti Cookery School, and building a reputation for innovation by being first to market with new products and ideas.
With potential for diversification a big issue in the current market, CESA (Catering Equipment Suppliers Association) Director, Keith Warren outlined the foodservice sector, highlighting the opportunities that exist for light equipment and tableware suppliers to enter the industry. He advised members to engage with the operators (hotels and restaurant chains) and with resellers of equipment via CESA. CESA also offers training courses for new entrants and Keith suggested members attended exhibitions and read The Caterer magazine to understand both market dynamics and eating out trends.
Eric Churet of SEDEX, which is the home of world’s largest collaborative platform for sharing sourcing data on the supply chain, provided an insight into how it is being used by over 40,000 members in more than 150 countries to determine whether a product secures a listing with a retailer – or not. Eric explained how a SEDEX endorsement in relation to labour rights, health and safety, the environment and business ethics across the supply chain is becoming increasingly critical to decision-making.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the government appointed body concerned with promoting free competition in all markets and penalising any restrictive practice including distribution and pricing, which may be against public interest. Delegates heard CMA Project Director, Susan Oxley and Nadia Muhammad, Principal Case Officer outlined its role and powers with examples of how suppliers can fall foul of legislation.
BHETA’s Housewares Sector Director, Will Jones commented, “The forum was extremely well attended. It’s great to catch up with so many members, update everyone on the latest news, and facilitate some high calibre presentations on current issues and opportunities. It was a really positive session.”
More information about BHETA and BHETA events can be obtained from the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130.