Ocado buyer Gillian Leahy tops Spring Fair Power 30 list

POWERLISTShow organiser i2i Events Group celebrates the inaugural Buyers Power List Awards, sponsored by Light & Living, at Spring Fair 2015 exhibition


The organiser of Spring Fair, i2i Events Group, revealed the winners of the inaugural Spring Fair Buyers Power List Awards on Monday February 2nd.

Leading Dutch lifestyle brand Light & Living were headline sponsors for the Awards, which were attended by a crowd of top retailers and retail industry professionals at a champagne reception held at the Spring Fair Fashion Accessories Catwalk.

Hosting the event was i2i Events Group Portfolio Director for Retail Louise Young, who commented: “I am thrilled to be launching this event in conjunction with Light & Living. The Buyers Power List Awards are dedicated to celebrating the people at the pinnacle of British Retail, and Spring Fair is proud to be driving this exciting and relevant industry initiative”.

Louise also thanked trade associations BHETA, Bira, Bira Direct and The Giftware Association for their help in collating the Power 30 shortlist of buyers.

Light & Living International Sales Director Paul Biermann said: “I am extremely proud to be part of this year’s Buyers Power List Awards, which shine a spotlight on outstanding men and women who are all   true inspiration to their buying colleagues.”

powelistpicThe winners are as follows:

  • Best Independent Retail Buyer or Team: Temptation Gifts
  • Best Multiple Retailer or Department Store: John Lewis
  • Power 30 winner: Gillian Leahy, Buying Manager, Ocado

Commenting on her win, Gillian said: “I am very humbled to have been nominated, and was even more blown away that I won! I couldn’t have done it without all the great suppliers who have the same passion for product that we do [at Ocado].”

The awards are designed to recognise influential buying teams and individuals across all of the sectors represented at Spring Fair.

The full Power 30 list consists of 30 individual shortlisted noted buyers who are influential and distinguished in their sector because they are trendsetting, consistently make good buying decisions, have a passion to support their industry, or have enhanced a retail brand through their own efforts.

The industry voted for those retailers considered to meet the standard of excellence for the Best Independent Retail Buyer or Team award. Those who made the shortlist for this category had to be buyers for a privately-owned independent store or chain of stores, either working individually or as a team. They were assessed on their contribution to the industry, rapport with suppliers, and the ability to differentiate their retail business in the marketplace.

Industry peers also took a vote on the Best Multiple Retailer or Department Store Team. Buying teams from multiple stores or department stores were judged on the level of support they give to the industry alongside demonstrable care for suppliers, as well as the ability to ignite retail trends, build brands and engage with customers. The winner demonstrated a clear drive to excel in all of these areas.

The Buyers Power List shortlist was compiled and reviewed in the run-up to Spring Fair by an advisory panel of key industry influencers that included The Giftware Association, Bira, Bira direct and BHETA.

Commenting on being shortlisted for an award, the Managing Director of winning independent Temptation Gifts Mike Adams said, “We are honoured and flattered to have been nominated.  Temptation Gifts was established in 1983, so we have over 30 years’ buying experience in the gift industry.  We now buy for our seven town-centre stores and our two multi-award winning websites, and the range of products that we carry is both wide-ranging and increasingly diverse.

“Our four-strong buying team spend four full days at Spring Fair each year – we really do consider the show to be the premier buying experience in the gift calendar.

For  more information on Spring Fair visit the website