Combined Independents (Holdings) Ltd (CIH), part of Euronics, Europe’s largest electrical buying organisation, has announced that CEO, Stuart Cook, is to retire in 2021. A new CEO appointment will be announced shortly, and Stuart will be smoothly transitioning CIH to its new head of operations over the coming year to ensure minimal disruption to the business.
Having spent 25 years working tirelessly for the UK’s largest electricals buying group and 13 years as director of Euronics International, Stuart can be credited for underpinning the success of both CIH and the Euronics brand in the UK. With a solid legacy in place, he felt that the time was approaching when he would like to spend more time with his family, travel the world and enjoy the fruits of his labour.
Commenting on the announcement, CIH Chairman, Steve Scogings, said, “Stuart’s contribution to CIH over two and half decades cannot be understated. During his tenure, he has orchestrated three SAP implementations that have transformed the business, established the Euronics Agency Agreement and founded Blomberg, nurturing it into the significant UK white goods brand that it is today.”
“Stuart can take credit for two new warehouse operations and upscaling member deliveries from once, to twice and now three times a week. He created Euronics.co.uk well in advance of the internet shopping revolution, launched the on-line ordering system and opened our first trade show at the NEC in 2006. He negotiated the Family Fund and Family Fund Business Services contracts, relaunched the Conference and partnered CIH with Retracare to supply warranties on consumer electronics,” added Steve.
Stuart was instrumental in successfully navigating CIH through the start of Covid-19 and supporting members throughout lockdown, with CIH subsequently reporting record summer trading this year. The buying group has extensive marketing plans and offers for members through Black Friday, Prime Day and Christmas 2020, demonstrating that independent electrical retail is alive and well.
“The list of Stuart’s achievements at CIH is extensive, and he begins his winding down period with a legacy of many positive changes to his credit,” continues Scogings. “Having established CIH as the buying group powerhouse that it is today, Stuart has built a tremendous base from which the new CEO can further build the brand, supplier business and member benefits into the future.”
Stuart will be scaling down to three days per week from September this year, with the view to taking full retirement in September 2021, should the business be in a suitable position for him to do so. The new CEO appointment will be announced shortly, working alongside Stuart to achieve a seamless transition period. Day-to-day operations for suppliers and members will remain unaffected during this period.