Retail buyers guide

Our popular annual guide brings you the details of toy buyers at the biggest UK retailers.
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Hamleys

UK stores: Seven (including two flagship stores, four Hamleys travel stores and one outlet store)

Address: 188-196 Regent Street, London, W18 5BT
Website: www.hamleys.com
Contact number: 0871 704 1977

Meet the team:
Laura Olver – head of buying
Claire Smith – category manager
Natalie Rogerson – category manager
Emma Toolan – category manager
Lorna Bishop – stock controller

Argos

UK stores: 700+

Address: 489-499 Avebury Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK9 2NW
Website: www.argos.co.uk
Contact number: 0845 1240044

Meet the team:
Andrea Abbis – trading manager for toys, nursery and entertainment
Caroline Jones – product manager, Chad Valley
Martyn Walker – buyer, boys toys, construction and DVDs
Alison Harrison – buyer, girls toys, science and arts and crafts
Yannis Vaharoglou ­– buyer, outdoor toys
Mark Whittle – buyer, infant and pre-school
Lee Parker – buyer, games and DVDs
Sarah Parker – merchandise manager, toys

Toys R Us

UK stores: 84

Address: Mitre House, 160 Aldersgate Street, London EC1A 4DD
Website: www.toysrus.co.uk
Contact number: 01628 414141

Meet the team:
Chris Ashton – buyer, pre-school and educational toys
Anna Waite – buyer, boys and vehicles
Evelyn Chiu – buyer, construction, games and puzzles
Paul Mitchell – merchandise manager
Karen Dennett – buyer, girls toys
Sarah Harding – buyer, arts and crafts, wooden toys and science

Asda

UK stores: 370+

Address: Asda House, Southbank, Great Wilson Street, Leeds, LS11 5AD
Website: www.asda.com
Contact number: 0113 243 5435

Meet the team:
Steph Strike – category director
Chris Norris – buying manager, pre-school, plush, role-play
Liza Williams – buyer, pre-school, plush, role-play
Scott Shannon – trading assistant, pre-school, plush, role-play
Emma Lumley – buyer, girls toys and stationery
Rhiannon James – trading assistant, girls toys and stationery
Richard Wall – buyer, boys toys
James Marrero Allen – trainee buyer, boys toys
Chris Proud – trading assistant, boys toys
Andrew Brierley – buying manager, girls and boys toys
Tracey Walton – marketing manager, toys and sports
Angela Turpin – marketing assistant, toys and sports

The Entertainer

UK stores: 67

Address: Boughton Business Park, Bell Lane, Little Chalfont, Bucks, HP6 6GL
Website: www.thetoyshop.com
Contact number: 01494 737000

Meet the team:
Gary Grant – MD
Stuart Grant – buying director
Nick Hargreaves – director of retail operations
Duncan Grant – director of multichannel
Ashley Major – finance director
Sue Dorkin – director of IT
Tim Grist – director of logistics

Debenhams

UK stores: 153

Address: Toy Buying Office, 91 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0EF
Website: www.debenhams.com
Contact number: 020 7408 6336

Meet the team:
James Ford – buyer
Frances Baker – assistant buyer
Karina Sinnott – trainee assistant buyer
Daniel Gannon – merchandiser
Ed Linley – assistant merchandiser
Jasmin Patel – assistant merchandiser

Tesco

UK stores: 2,715

Address: New Tesco House, Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, EN8 9SL
Website: www.direct.tesco.com
Contact number: 01992 632222

Meet the team:
John Stanhope – category buying manager
Phil Markham – senior merchandise planner
Suzanne Bates – senior commercial manager, trade planning and Direct
Claire Costello – category manager, technical toys and stationery
Nick Cooke – buying manager, boys, games, vehicles and construction
James Kelsey – buyer, vehicles and construction
Ravi Patel – assistant buyer, vehicles and construction
Natalia Munro – assistant buyer, boys and games
Jag Banwait – merchandise planner, boys and games
Alice Donelan – merchandise planner, vehicles and construction
Amanda Lighthowler – assistant merchandise planner, boys and games
Mark Gibson – assistant merchandise planner, boys and games
Catherine Hawkins – buying manager, girls and craft
Lucy alcock – assistant buyer, girls
Kelly Tofts – merchandise planner, girls
Laura Flavin – technical manager, girls
Jane Mahony – buying manager, outdoor and halloween
Hannah Sussams – assistant buyer, outdoor and halloween
Neil Robinson – senior merchandise planning manager, outdoor and halloween
Tauseef Parkar – assistant merchandise planner, outdoor and halloween
Jack Bristow – technical manager, outdoor and halloween
Anita Serradimigini – buyer, pre-school and seasonal plush
Carmen Legget – assistant buyer, pre-school
Claire Benabo – merchandise planning manager, pre-school
Katie Alvis – assistant merchandise planner, pre-school
Claire Stokes – assistant merchandise planner, pre-school
Nikki Gilman – technical manager, pre-school and plush
Rachel Wakeley – trade planning manager
Michelle Webster – trade planning manager
James Lawrence – trade planning manager

WH Smith

UK stores: 1,173 (561 travel and 612 High Street)

Address: 180 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8FY
Website: www.whsmith.co.uk
Contact number: 0207 851 8800

Meet the team:
Thomas Jackson – buyer
Amy Maidment – assistant buyer
Richard Faulkner – merchandiser
Shirley Beadle – trading controller

Selfridges

UK stores: four

Address: 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB
Website: www.selfridges.com
Contact number: 0800 123400

Meet the team:
Lynne Crook – buying manager, childrenswear and toys
Beth Clifton – buyer, childrenswear and toys
Julie Hall – assistant merchandiser, girlswear and toys
Lucie Toogood – assistant buyer, childrenswear and toys
Victoria Fox – assistant merchandiser, boyswear and babywear

Hobbycraft

UK stores: 63

Address: 7 Enterprise Way, Aviation Park, Bournemouth International Airport, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6HG
Website: www.hobbycraft.co.uk
Contact number: 01202 596100

Meet the team:
Rob Farnworth – operations director
Catriona Marshall – chief executive
Graham Dyson – buying director

Play.com

UK stores: online only

Address: PO Box 192, Jersey, JE4 8RP
Website: www.play.com
Contact number: 01223 484140

Meet the team:
Paul Sanders – head of toys and gadgets
Joe McManus – buyer

Modelzone

UK stores: 46

Address: Lancing Business Park, Commerce Way, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8TA
Website: www.modelzone.co.uk
Contact number: 01903 765496

Meet the team:
Kam Morgan – buyer
Gill Thomas – head of marketing
Graham Poole – buyer
Jane Evans – merchandiser

Morrisons

UK stores: 455

Address: Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Hilmore House, Gain Lane, Bradford,
BD3 7DL
Website: www.morrisons.co.uk
Contact number: 0845 611 5000

Meet the team:
Laura Clements – buyer

Thehut.com

UK stores: online only

Address: Meridian House, Gadbrook Park, Gadbrook Way, Northwich,
Cheshire, CW9 7RA
Website: www.thehut.com
Contact number: 01606 338 197

Meet the team:
Gemma Edwards – gift and toy buyer
Jenny Slater – gift buyer
Ben Rispin – merchandising manager

Iwantoneofthose.com

UK stores: online only

Address: Meridian House, Gadbrook Park, Gadbrook Way, Northwich,
Cheshire, CW9 7RA
Website: www.iwantoneofthose.com
Contact number: 01606 338 197

Meet the team:
Gemma Edwards – gift and toy buyer
Jenny Slater – gift buyer
Ben Rispin – merchandising manager
Contact for buying – Buying@iwoot.com

Wilkinson

UK stores: 14

Address: Wilkinson JK House, PO BOX 20, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3YY
Website: www.wilkinsonplus.com
Contact number: 08000 329 329

Meet the team:
Rachel Goacher – toy buyer
Zara Smith – junior buyer
Nicola Marsden – assistant buyer

BHS

UK stores: 180+

Address: 6th Floor North West House, 119 – 127 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5PU
Website: www.bhs.co.uk
Contact number: 0845 196 0000

Meet the team:
Kelly Bray – buyer, gifting and toys

Waterstones

UK Stores: 280

Address: Capital Court, Capital Interchange Way, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 0EX
Website: www.waterstones.com
Contact number: 0845 217 2920

Meet the team:
Sally-Ann Campbell – buyer, games and children’s non-book products

Toymaster

UK stores: 306

Address: Victoria House, Newport Pagnell Road West, Northampton, NN4 7JJ
Website: www.toymaster.co.uk
Contact number: 01604 674477

Meet the team:
Ciaran Fitzpatrick – chairman (Banba Toymaster)
Roger Dyson – managing director (central office)
Andy Taylor – director (Toymaster at Ramsdens)
George Duncan – director (Junners Toymaster)
Julian Hartfied – director (Kids Stuff Toymaster)
Ian Edmunds – marketing and operations director (central office)
Colin Farrow – finance and IT director (central office)

TK Maxx

UK stores: 340

Address: 50 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1TX
Website: www.tkmaxx.com
Contact number: 01923 473561

Meet the team:
Beth Carey – toy buyer
Lindsay Musselwhite – toy buyer

Smyths

UK and Ireland stores: 57

Address: Smyths Toys, Lyrr Building 1, Mervue Business Park, Galway, Ireland
Website: www.smythstoys.com
Contact number: +353 91 743600

Meet the team:
Anne-Marie Garrett – head buyer
Peter Strange – head buyer, pre-school
Laura Butler – head buyer, boys department
Tara Mortimer – head buyer, girls department

Sainsbury’s

UK stores: 872

Address: Sainsbury’s Support Centre, 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT
Website: www.sainsburys.co.uk
Contact number: 02476 439 100

Meet the team:
Kate Briggs – senior buyer
Rebecca Henshey – buyer, pre-school, nursery, games and puzzles
Sarah Ritmeyer – buying assistant, pre-school, nursery/games and puzzles
Lauren Bennett – buyer, boys and construction
Jessie Matthews – buying assistant, boys and construction
Liz Stanley – buyer, girls and creative
Dean Mumford – senior merchandising planner
Louise Allison – merchandising planner
Steven Goss – technologist

Prezzybox.com

UK stores: online only

Address: Hollybank Farm House, No Mans Heath Lane, Austrey, Warwickshire, CV9 3EW
Website: www.prezzybox.com
Office number: 08442 495007

Meet the Team:
Barney Edwards – commercial director
Zak Edwards – managing director
Becky Coombs – junior buyer

Firebox.com

Address: Units 6:10, The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ
Website: www.firebox.com
Contact number: 0800 044 5010

Meet the team:
Ryan Collins – head of buying
Caroline Jenkins – toys, games and kids buyer
Ben Fowler – head of product development
Lianne Chatwin – head of stock
Steve Law – operations director
Paul Zimmerman – CEO
Michael Acton Smith – co-founder
Tom Boardman – co-founder and chief information director

Amazon.co.uk

Address: Patriot Court, 1-9 The Grove, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1QP
Website: www.amazon.co.uk
Contact number: 020 8636 9200

Meet the team:
Ulrike Wingenter-Davey – senior category leader toys
Rhian Munday – senior buyer
Serena Banga – associate buyer
Colin Ball – senior instock manager
Nidhi Jaiswal – instock manager
Mitesh Dassani – FOB instock manager
Ryan Hurney – site merchandiser

AIS / Playroom

UK & Ireland stores: 199

Address: Cranmore Park, Cranmore Avenue, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 4LF
Website: www.play-room.uk.com
Contact number: 0121 713 4487

Meet the team:
Joyce Daly – controller
Miles Penhallow – manager
Charlotte Roberts – administration

Mothercare

UK stores: 344

Address: Cherry Tree Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD24 6SH
Website: www.mothercare.com
Contact number: 01923 241000

Meet the team:
Jo Ledsham – trading director
Sara Watts – head of merchandising
Brian McLaughlin – buyer, action and adventure (boys toys)
Claire Donovan – senior buyer, music and learning
Kate Harper – buyer sport activity
Claire Loxley – senior buyer, Let’s Pretend (girls toys)
Liz Waller – senior buyer, baby and toddler
Mario Luzi – senior merchandiser, sports and outdoor
Gareth Thorn – senior merchandiser, action and adventure (boys toys)
Hayley Young – senior merchandiser, baby and toddler
Nick Yeowell – junior buyer, puzzles, games and pocket money
Sam Camp – junior buyer, art and creativity
Kate Greenwood – junior buyer, Mothercare toys

John Lewis

UK stores: 35

Address: John Lewis Partnership, Carlisle Place, London, SW1P 1BX
Website: www.johnlewis.com
Contact number: 020 7828 1000

Meet the team:
Elaine Hooper – toy and book buyer
Michelle McGuire and Rachael Stacey – assistant buyers
Ellen Jarvis and Sarah Batty – buying administrators
Emily Hobin – toy and book merchandiser
Ben Archer – assistant merchandiser
Joanne Kyriakides, John Masters, Russell Woolley – merchandise administrators

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