The Judges

Supplier Judges

Andrew Georgiou

Andrew Georgiou

Senior Trader
Robert Dyas (Theo Paphitis Retail Group)

  • Andrew has a wealth of buying experience in the Industry. He joined Robert Dyas just over two years ago as senior trader for DIY, with buying responsibility for categories, such as power tools, hand tools, security, smart home, paint and decorating. He also had a 15-year career at Homebase in various roles buying across categories, such as DIY, security, tools, lighting, building, decorative fittings and lighting. Prior to that, Andrew held roles at Otis United Technologies and B&Q.

Gary Hayman

Gary Hayman

Group Buyer
Capital Gardens

  • Gary Hayman is group buyer for Capital Gardens covering all aspects of garden sundries, including chemicals, tools, compost and containers as well as wild bird care and pet products. Gary has over 15 years’ of experience in the garden centre industry, having previously worked for Garsons in Esher, helping to co-ordinate fertilisers and chemicals for the Future Marketing buying group.

John Cosford

John Cosford

Buyer, DIY
Wilko

  • John has worked for Wilko (formerly Wilkinson) in various roles for more than 20 years. In his current position as buyer for DIY, he purchases across a number of categories, including hand tools, power tools, hardware, security, plumbing, electrics, motor care and cycle accessories.

Mike Farrants

Mike Farrants

Buyer
Wyevale Garden Centres

  • Mike is a seasoned buyer with more than 16 years’ retail buying experience across business supplies and DIY sectors. Having worked for Staples and Wickes previously, he joined Wyevale Garden Centres in September 2014 and, in his role, he oversees the buying of key categories, including tools, garden machinery and landscaping – using his experience and understanding of the consumer to develop exclusive product ranges and customer-focused category strategies.

Paul Andrews

Paul Andrews

DIY Product Manager
Home Hardware Southwest

  • Paul has worked for Home Hardware for more than 25 years, buying across various sectors, including gardening, housewares, heating, leisure and cookware. For the past 10 years he has looked after and grown Home Hardware’s extensive DIY offering.

Paul Garland

Paul Garland

Associate Buyer – DIY & garden
QVC UK

  • Associate Buyer – DIY & garden, QVC UK

    Paul has worked in the DIY and garden category for over six years in the buying department, and has extensive experience working in the multimedia and e-commerce sector. For the past three years he has played an instrumental role in growing QVC’s DIY, garden tools and security departments, introducing some major brands to QVC and overseeing the launch of many innovative and exciting new products from around the world. With Paul’s help, QVC has become a major destination for both DIY and garden products as part of a fast growing home category

Paul Warren

Paul Warren

Owner
Broad Street DIY

  • Paul has grown up in the DIY industry and now heads up the family business, Broad Street DIY, which was started by his parents nearly 40 years ago. The forward-thinking business has secured a number of awards in recent years, including being named DIY Week’s Retailer of the Year in 2017, thanks to fantatsic initiatives like its DIY clinics and DIY Ladies’ Nights.

Steve Guy

Steve Guy

Head of Sales – outdoor
Kingfisher

  • Steve Guy has over 30 years’ experience in the outdoor gardening market, having started his career in wholesale sales at Bridgemere Nurseries, one of the leading garden centres in the UK. In 2000 Steve moved on to B&Q, where he worked as a buyer in the seasonal department and, over the proceeding 14 years, progressed to category trading manager, with responsibility for buying & trading the whole of the outdoor offer. Five years ago he moved to Dobbies Garden Centres in Edinburgh as head of buying and, in 2015, was promoted to buying and merchandising director. Steve has recently re-joined Kingfisher as head of sales for outdoor, where he is responsible for unifying the group sales through joint promotions across Europe.

Vicky Nuttall

Vicky Nuttall

Director
Garden Industry Manufacturers Association

  • As a professional marketeer, Vicky started her career in IT, moved into construction and then found her way into the garden landscaping sector, working for timber supplier Forest Garden, where she stayed for over 13 years. In 2014 Vicky became director of GIMA, the Garden Industry Manufacturers’ Association, representing and supporting suppliers in their commercial endeavours within the UK.

Retail Judges

Colin Petty

Colin Petty

Industry Consultant
and former DIY Week Publisher

  • During his long career in the industry, Colin has edited and been publisher of both DIY Week and Hardware & Garden Review, and has worked tirelessly with charity the Rainy Day Trust, sitting on the board as a trustee. He is currently working as a consultant within the DIY industry.

     

Iain Wylie

Iain Wylie

Chief Executive
Garden Centre Association

  • Former managing director of Grosvenor Garden Centre, Iain has been involved in the garden industry for a number of years, taking on his latest role at the helm of the GCA in 2013.

Mark Alexander

Mark Alexander

Managing Director
Benchmark Retail Services Limited

  • Mark’s sales career began in 1983 at Burton’s Biscuits and Philip Morris, where he learnt classic FMCG sales skills and developed into first line management. He moved into non-food in 1989 at Coloroll Crossley, where he held several roles, before being appointed sales director for the Consumer Division of Yale Security Products, then part of Williams Plc. In 1998, he joined Ostendorf UK – the supplier of B&Q’s own-label paint ranges. During his three years as sales director, Mark launched B&Q Colours, range extensions in Kitchen & Bathroom, One Coat and Multi-Surface paints and increased turnover six-fold. In 2001, he started Benchmark Retail Services Limited, driven by the desire to utilise his many years’ experience in senior management and working with third party service agencies to bring his commercial knowledge to the sector.

Nigel Wright

Nigel Wright

Operations Director
Stax Trade Centres

  • Born and bred into the wholesale industry through family business W E Merris Ltd, which was later merged with Stax, Nigel has the role of operations director at Stax, where he directly oversees the Birmingham and Bristol branches. His role encompasses a wide variety of aspects, from day-to-day sales within the branch, to managing the firm’s 14-strong sales force. Stax now supplies a significant number of garden centres, as well as hardware and DIY stores. Nigel also heads up the wholesaler’s relationship with buying groups, such as Mica and BIRA.

Paul Bagnall

Paul Bagnall

Channel Manager
Henkel Consumer Adhesives

  • Paul forged an immensely successful career in sales, working with both multiples and independent retailers across major retail channels, including DIY, grocery and stationery. He won a National Sales Award for Top Professional: FMCG, against other candidates, who were from major food brands. He has recently been working in channel marketing at adhesives and sealants giant Henkel, where he has been working closely with brand marketing and sales to ensure the company leverages its assets to the full in particular retail channels. Mr Bagnall was also closely involved with the Hand it Over to Henkel project, which strives to demonstrate that category marketing techniques are just as relevant to the small independent retailer as they are to multi-national retailers.

Paul Housego

Paul Housego

Retail Consultant

  • Paul has 40 years’ inventory, procurement and category management experience in DIY, food & non food, with previous roles at Sainsburys and more than 35 years with Homebase under several owners, including Shroders and Home Retail Group. Having taken early retirement last year, Paul now works as a retail consultant in the industry. During his career he has worked across almost every category in the home improvement and garden sector.

Simon Bicknell

Simon Bicknell

Marketing Development Director
Toolbank

  • An experienced director of group marketing with a demonstrated history of success in the tools, hardware and distribution industry, Simon began his career with a seven-year stint at Sandvik Saws & Tools before joining Toolbank. He has spent more than 30 years with the specialist distributor of hand and power tools, taking on the role of group sales director and, more recently, marketing development director.  Prior to this Simon has worked in retail and manufacturing.

Steve Akers

Steve Akers

Director of Buying
BIRA Direct

  • Director of buying, Steve has been with BIRA for the past six years, He has previously held roles with member-owned group Mica and various entertainment companies. He also spent 14 years at HMV where he worked his way up from sales assistant to hold several managerial roles, including manager of the Oxford Circus superstore, which boasted a multi-million pound turnover.

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