Bringing it all back home

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Supply expert MidwichHome Retail has demonstrated that by sticking to a quality service ethos while adopting business flexibility, it is possible to buck the economic trend. Stuart Hillis, Midwich Group PR communicator, reports.

The past 12 months have seen an impressive 30% growth of the company – making it the fastest growing electronics retail supplier in the country. And rather than resting on its laurels, MidwichHome Retail continues to look forward to another successful year as recent business developments continue to bear fruit.

Catering for multiples, mini-multiples, independent retailers and buying groups, the company has expanded its range of products to include something for every room in the house – from TVs and audio solutions to vacuum cleaners and Ferrari headphones.

The multi-faceted business model has seen sales of consumer TVs and audio top 100,000 units in 2012 and the Consumer Accessories arm continues to grow under the guidance of Neil Drain, former MD of Vivanco and Lawton Trading Ltd.

The business received a boost when MidwichHome brought in small domestic appliance specialist, Mark Flesher, whose 17 years’ experience in the electricals market, including 12 years as a purchasing director for HI Distribution, has brought further knowledge to the team.

Mark’s appointment coincided with the company’s small appliance launch in November last year; consisting of 12 brands. Since that time, progress has been swift, with several more leading brands looking to get on board with MidwichHome over the coming weeks. Mark said: “We chose to launch a small appliance range in a contemporary style – with colour-coded kitchen appliances proving particularly popular. Midwich has a proven track record of success in developing product ranges and we are delighted that other leading manufacturers are keen to join us for 2013.”

The introduction of the SDA and accessories range has proved particularly successful, as retail divisional manager Neil Drain explains: “We have added considerably to our product range and the response from our resellers has been strong. In particular, we have found a high demand for our exclusive products such as our Ferrari by Logic3 headphones. We secured the Ferrari deal in perfect time for the Christmas market and the range has, not surprisingly, proved highly popular. It is a quality, superbly designed product and the branding speaks for itself.”

“Indeed, we have witnessed a growing trend towards headphones generally. These, along with wireless connectivity and Bluetooth products, have had huge demand. Bluetooth portable speakers have been particularly well received as our resellers continue to satisfy demand for a product that will give improved audio impact from mobile phones and tablets. Consumer TVs also continue to be a strong performer and we have the expertise and financial firepower needed to be highly competitive in this area.”

As well as the ever-increasing range of products and its solid logistics (Midwich is in its fourth decade of distributing electronics), Neil remains convinced that the service factor has been instrumental in MidwichHome’s positive development, and their recent investments reflect this.

With the charts and projections pointing skyward, MidwichHome has been able to expand its staff levels accordingly – doubling the size of its internal sales team and increasing its external team to 8 dedicated support staff.

Elsewhere, MidwichHome’s specialist Custom Install team has been helping AV retail businesses add further strings to their bow and increase their margin. Any business benefits from multiple revenue streams and the Custom Install part of MidwichHome continues to offer not only the latest multi-room, home cinema and synchronised control solutions but also a level of expertise, service and support that goes way beyond the levels expected of a distributor.

Neil adds: “One of the primary benefits to our customers is that we have such vast experience in identifying and reacting to trends in the channel. Our close working relationships with the world’s leading manufacturers mean that, for many years, we have been able to help resellers make the most of changes in technology and the retail trends that it brings. Technology moves quickly and we like to think that MidwichHome and its resellers can, when required, benefit by doing the same.”

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