BHETA recent retailer networking forum provided a fascinating glimpse into online retailer Wayfair’s category expansion in the UK. It also provided insights into the retailer’s focus on sustainability in housewares buying trends, product development and packaging.
The event featured an informative and inspirational presentation from Wayfair’s associate director Joseph (Joe) Bill. He outlined the company’s significant growth to its current position as premier online home retailer in the UK, and its planned expansion into DIY / garden categories, alongside its successful housewares and small domestic appliance offering.
Joe outlined the key criteria for becoming and succeeding as a Wayfair supplier and the process for new or existing partnerships. The Wayfair team circulated with delegates and supplied contact details for relationship development.
Phil Pond of trend forecaster Scarlet Opus provided another stimulating presentation at the BHETA forum. Phil’s presentation covered sustainability, eco-friendly goods and the advances in technology that are leading to manufacturing innovation, material recovery and product design. He also explored the implications for suppliers of increasing consumer frustration at the business world’s perceived slowness to own the challenge of sustainability. Quoting Mark Carney – who stated that “firms ignoring climate change will go bankrupt” – Phil looked at the commercial potential of alternative (but commercially available) materials for product and packaging manufacture.
Other speakers included Glynn Jones from the Bank of England and Dachser’s business development manager, Carolyn Hough. Caroyln focussed on the potential logistics implications of the UK’s exit from the EU.
* BHETA has postponed its next Housewares Forum with Leekes (due to take place next Wednesday March 25, to be re-scheduled for the second half of the year.
* The association’s quarterly Credit Forum on Tuesday March 24 will be held online.
Top: Joseph Bill from Wayfair speaking at BHETA’s recent forum.