Strong negotiation skills and a firm customer focus led to Wilf Slee being voted top buyer by confectionery suppliers

Palmer & Harvey McLane’s Wilf Slee came out as The Grocer’s top buyer, as voted this month by confectionery suppliers. He has been with P&H for 36 years and suppliers’ appreciation of his experience has helped him become October’s Star Buyer.
Strong negotiation skills and the fact that he was firmly focused on the customer were key to his nominations. One supplier said: “He is a man of great experience; always interested in what you have to say.”
Another added: “He understands the category in depth, and with many years of experience he is able to make strong, category-focused decisions.”
Jo Cotton from Woolworths also received several nominations and again experience counted. “Jo is an extremely hardworking and conscientious buyer. She speaks in plain English and always gives an honest opinion.”
Lydia Gee, confectionery category buyer at The Co-operative Group was said to be very knowledgeable about the category. “She has spent a long time evaluating the confectionery category and never rushes decisions,” said one supplier.
Senior buyer at Sainsbury, Keely Mason, was praised for a fantastic range. “She has been instrumental in developing Sainsbury’s offer, especially in the kids’ ranges.”
Suppliers liked working with Lisa Moore, Morrisons’ confectionery buyer, as they respected the way she did business.
“She relishes a challenge from the supplier and quickly ‘gets’ the message and readily supports innovation. Her success is supported by both commercial and instinctive rationales,” said one.
Tesco’s confectionery buyer, Sharon Segal, has a reputation for being a hard but fair trader. “She takes a constructive, objective and progressive approach while working both with suppliers and internally at Tesco across its different formats.”
>>p43 Focus on Confectionery