There is a new Chairman of the Tillington Buying Group, following the retirement of Harry McDermid after 16 successful years.
Dennis Espley, ex MD of member group Squire’s Garden Centres, is taking over. Garden Centre Retail caught up with Dennis to speak about his new role.
What does your new role entail?
The role is Chairman rather than CEO, so it’s about understanding what member companies Alton, Bents, Frosts, Squire’s, Van Hage, Otter, Ruxley, Hayes, Webbs, Sotsdale, Whitehall want to achieve, co-ordinating this, and seeing it through.
Why have you taken this role on?
Harry McDermid was looking to retire after 16 successful years, I was about to retire from Squire’s and happy to maintain links with the trade. I have knowledge of the group ethos, people and operating methods which makes for a smooth and speedy transition.
How long have you been involved with the Tillington Group?
I have been involved with Tillington since Squire’s joined in 1998, 18 years.
What are you planning to do differently from the previous chairman?
We are not anticipating seismic change, it’s all about what the member companies want, however everyone is forward looking and open to ideas, we are very aware of the constant change in the market.
My more central geographical location will enable me to attend the various Product Group committees from time to time and keep updated about their activities.
What does the future hold for the group?
The future of the group will continue to develop, particularly as newer categories come to the fore, for instance Catering and Gift/leisure. Seeking exclusive lines will certainly be an emphasis, along with great value for our consumers.
Most important is to continue the friendly co-operation, which gives us trust between members, leading to probably unequalled exchange of confidential trading and product information, thus permitting free discussion helping us to improve our offer and trading profits.