Horticulture Week Top 40 plant buyers 2017

Longer spells in positions helps plant buyers to improve grower confidence.

Clapp: number one buyer started at Kingfisher in 2015
Clapp: number one buyer started at Kingfisher in 2015

Top plant buyers in DIYs and garden centres are increasingly staying in their roles for longer, which they say helps spread confidence among growers. Horticulture Week has published its first top 40 UK plant buyer list (see box), with Kingfisher's Tim Clapp at number one.

Clapp has been at the B&Q owner since 2015, after moving from Wyevale Garden Centres where he was for eight years, and now has a Europe-wide Kingfisher sourcing role. New Homebase owner Bunnings has retained Martyn Hill - number two on the list - at the chain. Hill has been a buyer at Homebase since 2002.

Third on the list is recently promoted Wyevale Garden Centres head of trading, horticulture, Mark Sage, who has been at the 148-centre chain since 2009. Sage previously worked at B&Q, where he also worked with Clapp. Dobbies' Steve Guy is fourth. He moved from B&Q to the 34-centre chain in 2013. Before joining B&Q in 1999, he was at Bridgemere and Farplants.

"We are getting some stability now in the buyers," says Hillier managing director Chris Francis. "We're noticing that people after a year or two are starting to build relations with us." Hillier buyer Rob Grayson is a former doctor who changed careers to work on the Hillier nursery before replacing Pip Bensley as plant buyer for Hillier Garden Centres in 2015.

TOP 40 GARDEN CENTRE PLANT BUYERS PLUS SUPERMARKETS/DISCOUNTERS/ONLINE

1. Tim Clapp, Kingfisher head of range, horticulture

2. Martyn Hill, Homebase/Bunnings horticulture buyer

3. Mark Sage/David Mitchell, Wyevale Garden Centres head of trading, horticulture

4. Steve Guy/Richard Egerton, Dobbies Garden Centres buying and merchandising director

5. Jim Nuttall/Jim Teague, Blue Diamond commercial manager

6. Jeremy Hall, Squires Group plant buyer

7. Andy Smith, Klondyke head of plant buying

8. Colin Dale, Notcutts outdoor plant buyer

9. Andy Bunker, Alton Garden Centre director and Tillington Group plants negotiator

10. Philippa Stubbs, British Garden Centres

11. Colin Brickell, Haskins Group plant buyer

12. Peter Newson, Frosts Garden Centres plants and products manager

13. Rob Grayson, Hillier plant category manager

14. Steve Murray, Longacres buyer

15. Alison Marsden, Barton Grange buyer

16. Michael Feddon, Bents buyer

17. Sheila Ward, Scotsdales buyer

18. Max Asare, QD Stores/Cherry Lane horticultural buyer

19. Jo Wyles, Hillview

20. Colin Barrie, Caulders Garden Centres owner

21. Ros Govier, Otter Nurseries buyer

22. Dave Andrews, Home & Garden buyer

23. Malcolm Berry, Wisley Plant Centre buyer

24. Glen Sheldrake, Burford buyer

Supermarkets, discounters and online

1. Matt Ward, Tesco plant buyer

2. Emma Coupe, Waitrose head of horticulture

3. Karen Walker, Aldi category director for fresh flowers and plants

4. Katherine Tilburn/Phillip Smith, IPL/Asda flower/plant buyer

5. Victoria Drew, Lidl trainee buying manager, plants and flowers

6. Samantha Stevenson/Robert Honeysett, Sainsbury's horticulture manager

7. Jodie Glew/Holly Mullin, Wilko buyers, seasonal and gardening

8. Andrew Mellonie Marks & Spencer, technical manager, fresh produce and horticulture

9. Drew Kirk/Nigel Pell Morrisons, category director

10. Nicky Proudlock, Co-op head of horticulture and vegetable buying

11. Jonathan Hooper, Iceland buyer

12. Tom Hargreaves, Booths fresh vegetables and floristry buyer

13. Gez Smith, JTF senior buyer

14. Nigel Press, B&M

15. John Hiorns, Crocus

16. Peter McDermott, YouGarden


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