Letter to the BPMA

The below is a copy of the letter sent by Customer Focus to the BPMA on 17 February 2017.



Dear Graeme,

I trust you are well and enjoying your new role as Chairman of BPMA.

From previous discussions, I know you are keen to ensure that the BPMA maintains a position as the association of choice helping the whole industry to drive improvement across the sector that we all invest substantial resources into.

A ‘handshake’ agreement between BPMA and PPExpo was for the good of the industry – we would each invest and manage our shows and not confuse or compromise customer loyalty by competing in the months surrounding our events.

With that as a background, we are confused as to why Sourcing City with the encouragement of the BPMA Director General, Gordon Glennister, are openly suggesting and planning the launch of a competing January show.

Following the universal praise for PPE last month, we announced a plan to again invest heavily into a January event and announced Resellex, a new name and a new approach appropriate for where the industry is going, and not where it was a decade ago.

Whilst we will again attract visitors through having a great product offering with fantastic supplier stands, we are also adding a “world class speaker” program as part of a new hosted end buyer day.

Driving end user engagement is the absolute key to success of the industry and this conference is designed to attract & equip the whole industry (suppliers, distributors and end-users) with ideas, insights and strategies to help them innovate, grow their businesses and build their brands.

This engagement with end users will improve relationships, further driving the demand side of our industry for professional resellers and distributors.

This strategy is in line with stated goals of the BPMA, and would if approached correctly, encourage end users to prefer BPMA Distributor members as supply partners.


From conversations we have had with many of our exhibitors, a show promoted by the BPMA in direct competition with ourselves would cause divisiveness for no rationale reason. In fact one supplier has stated that they will not now exhibit at either show and is resigning as a BPMA Member so that they are not compromised by the issue.

We have already offered the BPMA the ability to participate in our event, it makes sense that the UK Association is at the largest UK show, so I would again like to invite the BPMA to joins us at this key annual event.

Attending long term will enable the BPMA to be a key partner of our most progressive industry event yet, delivering you more new members, prospects and a wide audience.

We would welcome the same participation at your upcoming Merchandise World event in September, and then focus on uniting around two important industry events that are welcomed by all of our members.

I look forward to hearing from you soon, and us all moving forward in a way that is focused on the good of the wider industry.

Yours sincerely


Paul Kehoe

General Manager
Customer Focus (formerly Trade Only)

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