Who are the top buyers in garden retail?

Horticulture Week identifies the key industry figures whose buying decisions are shaping the garden retail sector.

Haskins buying director Conna Powles
Haskins buying director Conna Powles

The Garden Retail Top Buyers list, new from Horticulture Week, is based on the Garden Retail Top 100, a feature that has run annually for seven years, identifying top-turnover garden centres by site in the UK. The 2015 update was published on 29 May.

With input from industry figures we have identified 30 of the leading buyers, with an emphasis on core gardening and plants, at the top centres and buying groups. The list mixes financial buying power and influence on buying trends.

Top of the rankings

Longacres was ranked number one in the Top 100 with an £18m turnover. Leading chains Wyevale, Dobbies, Blue Diamond, Notcutts, Klondyke, Squire's, Frosts and Haskins filled more than half of the Top 100 slots.

Wyevale Garden Centres had most entries. Dan Zinner is trading director, Caroline Linger is head of garden and David Mitchell and Mark Sage are the group's leading plant buyers.

Dobbies is the next best-represented chain in the Top 100. Steve Guy is horticulture head buyer and Susan Moore is indoor head buyer. Andy Smith is plant buyer, Suzanne Glynn is indoor buyer and Ashley Connolly is outdoor living buyer.

Blue Diamond, which had a £71m turnover in 2014 and estimates £85m for 2015, has group section heads - Stuart Whalley (gardening), James Nuttall (plants) and Heidi Newton (fashion).

Notcutts (£53m) plant buyer is Colin Dale, with Sandy Parker sundries buyer and Christina Baker garden leisure and Christmas buyer.

Klondyke (£48m) head of buying is David Yardley. Jo Cooke buys the chain's outdoor plants and Allan Wilson buys sundries. At Squire's, Darran Oakley is head of buying, while Tim Jacobs buys plants and Jenny Middleton buys leisure.

Peter Newson is responsible for buying plants at Frosts part ot the Tillington Group. Pat Barker, Helen Royle and Jenny Spivey are indoor buyers. James Godber is sundries buyer. The buying director at Haskins is Conna Powles, with Colin Brickell plant buyer and Andy Harriss garden goods buyer.

New head of buying

Andrew West is the new head of buying at Hillier, under garden centre director Chris Francis. Pip Bensley is plants buyer, Graham Tarrant sundries buyer and Sue Robinson covers Christmas/gifts.

Outside the mainstream stand-alone garden centres, gardening buyers change frequently. But at the big DIY stores, Tim Clapp and Jane Templar have major plant-buying power.

Top buyers - The industry's key influencers

Dan Zinner, trading director, Wyevale Garden Centres.

Steve Guy, horticulture head buyer, Dobbies.

Stuart Whalley, head of buying (gardening), Blue Diamond.

David Yardley, head of buying, Klondyke.

Darran Oakley, head of buying at Squire's and negotiator at the Tillington Group.

Conna Powles, buying director, Haskins.

Andrew West, head of buying, Hillier.

Nigel Long, managing director, Longacres.

Caroline Linger, head of garden, Wyevale Garden Centres.

Susan Moore, Christmas, indoor, and outdoor living, Dobbies.

David Mitchell, plant buyer, Wyevale Garden Centres.

Mark Sage, category manager (bedding plants), Wyevale Garden Centres.

Allan Wilson, garden sundries buyer, Klondyke.

Jo Cooke, outdoor plants, houseplants and pets buyer, Klondyke.

Michelle de Lavis Trafford, buyer, Choice Marketing.

Jason Stafford, buyer at Future Marketing and finance director at All in One Garden Centre.

Colin Dale, outdoor plant buyer, Notcutts.

Russell Winteridge, general manager, Barton Grange.

Sally Spicer, sundries, Scotsdale and Tillington Group.

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

Keith Laird, outdoor living, Hayes Garden World and Tillington Group.

Alan Docherty, senior gardening buyer at Webbs and buyer at the Tillington Group.

Peter Newson, plants buyer, Frosts.

Phillippa Stubbs, director, British Garden Centres.

Marcus Eyles, group purchasing manager, Hillview Garden centres.

Andy Schofield, buyer, Home & Garden.

Peter Self, managing director and horticulture and food buyer, Whitehall.

Alison Novell, head of buying (with Scott McCabe), Polhill.

Malcolm Berry, buyer, Wisley Plant Centre.

Jon Hoare, commercial manager, Woodcote Green Garden Centre.

Non-specialist centres

Tim Clapp/Steve Pitcher, B&Q.

Jon Kemp, gardening/DIY trading director, Homebase.

Andy Goddard, horticulture category manager, Homebase.

Jane Templar, plant buying manager, Homebase.

Emma Coupe, Waitrose.

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