At the annual suppliers lunch, held in the London Dorchester Hotel, Robin Millwood, CIH chairman, summed up the challenges and opportunities faced by independent dealers and their suppliers and indicated the changes in the buying group’s strategies.
Mr Millwood said: “With the demise of Comet there could and should be a large share coming our way and we will be calling meetings in the New Year to discuss this with you because unless you handle it carefully you will have two large dogs (DSG and DRL) wagging their tails and you the suppliers will not be able to control them or what will happen to what already is a troubled market place. We will also need your support to handle the opportunities of B2B that are appearing since Comet failed and the void it left.
“Alongside our Euronics.co.uk website we are looking to expand our Agency ranges with more exclusive models and substantial key promotions which we have successfully used to increase sales, but we are also looking for fast moving promotional lines like the recent Comet distressed stock that we can take in thousands and move through without destroying the market.”
This year the buying group presented two awards. The Euronics Supplier of the Year award went to Bosch who has provided the group with a range of exclusive agency products that has boosted Euronics’ turnover and maintained a good profit margin for its agents.
The Supporter of the Independent award was presented to Blomberg, the brand that has proved very popular with the agents and which has grown by 30% from April 2012.
Stuart Cook, the group’s chief executive, explained to IER the model of the group’s new website – Euronics Direct. “Using Euronics Direct we sell agency products at a full retail price, seven days a week. A USP of the service is a free next day delivery. As we make a sale to the consumer (who knows that he selects from a range of our best selling products), we put them in touch with the local independent retailer who gets the commission and is free to develop a relationship with this customer.” The service was launched in November and the response to it “has been tremendous” stressed Mr Cook. “We are now open when the shops are shut. We have to change as we cannot stand still and watch others do it, or we will be lost.”