The Judges


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.

Matt James

Buyer, Homebase

Currently power tools Buyer at Homebase, Matt has a wealth of experience focusing on product and retail proposition development. Throughout his 17-year career, Matt has also worked as a buyer across a range of product categories, including lighting and landscaping, for a host of DIY and garden retailers, including B&Q, Screwfix, and Wyevale.

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

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

Associate Buyer – DIY & garden, QVC UK

Paul has worked in the DIY and garden category for over seven years in the buying department, and has extensive experience working in the multimedia and e-commerce sector. For the past four 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

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.

Shufquat Shah

Senior Buyer, Robert Dyas (Theo Paphitis Retail Group)

Shufquat joined Robert Dyas this year as senior buyer, overseeing DIY categories and smart home. He benefits from extensive buying experience, having spent more than nine years at Wickes in a variety of roles, and five years in buying at Woolworth’s working on a number of categories, including outdoor living, garden tools and chemicals & fertilisers.

Steve Guy

Outdoor Market Director, B&Q

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. Six 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 re-joined Kingfisher last year as head of sales for outdoor, where he is responsible for unifying the group sales through joint promotions across Europe.

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.


Alyson Haywood

Business Development Consultant

Alyson has over 25 years’ worth of knowledge and experience in the horticulture industry, working as a retailer in a number of roles including, managing director of Moreton Park Garden Centre, regional operations manager, and regional manager for Wyevale Garden Centres, head of nurseries at Wyevale and, most recently head of horticultural quality control for Wyevale Garden Centres. She is now an independent improvement and development expert working with garden centres to build and grow their businesses. Alyson is also a GCA inspector; inspecting garden centres to ensure that the standards of retailing and merchandising benchmarked by the GCA is achieved.

Colin Petty

Industry Consultant and former DIY Week Publisher

Colin Petty is a DIY industry consultant, and a trustee of the Ken Hawley Collection Trust in Sheffield. He was formerly the editor and publisher of DIY Week, Builders Merchants Journal and Housewares, and is a past president of the Rainy Day Trust.

Rebecca Phillips

Category Manager, Decco

Rebecca has been with Decco since 2007 and is responsible for the company’s marketing activity, including Fair and Square, High Street Heroes and its annual catalogues.
She manages seasonal promotions across the DIY, garden and home categories, as well as broadening Decco’s offer with more targeted promotional activity for high street retailers and garden centres.

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.

Paul Bagnall

Channel Manager, Henkel Consumer Adhesives

Paul forged a 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 from major food brands. Now in channel marketing at adhesives and sealants giant Henkel, Paul works closely with brand marketing and sales to ensure the company leverages its assets to the full in particular retail channels. He was also closely involved with the Hand it Over to Henkel project, highlighting how effective category marketing techniques can be for retailers of all sizes.

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.

Tom Jones

Director, Hafod Hardware

Tom joined family business, Hafod Hardware 10 years ago. With a keen eye for retail and marketing opportunities, he has helped Hafod expand into new categories in store and developed the retailer’s digital presence, complete with new website, active social media engagement and promotional videos. Tom was also responsible for creating Hafod’s Christmas campaign, which gained national attention and secured the Marketing Initiative of the Year trophy at the DIY Week Awards in May.

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