At the annual suppliers lunch, held this year in the London Dorchester Hotel, Robin Millwood, CIH chairman, said: “In another consecutive poor year in retail, our turnover is only marginally down and this is with fewer members, but in a market place that in some areas is over 10% down. With more cost savings and streamlining, we have managed to reduce the members’ costs as well as maintaining profit in the company.”
He also stressed:”The members will continue to support those suppliers where a reasonable retail margin can be maintained.” He also said that the group achieved very good results in the area of “IT & telecoms where Micro-P is showing a 600% increase and in small appliances, where Magimix is showing a 47% increase.”
Stuart Cook, the group’s chief executive, told IER: “In the current market situation, independents should keep to the traditional route for the sector: service and quality, and select brands that support them. They have to determine what their market and strategies are and stick to them. In 2012, the group is going to get into the quality end of the small domestic appliances market and IT.”
Mr Cook also had a message for the suppliers: “’If you want independents to be in the electrical market in five years time, you need to look after them. They are the most loyal of your partners.”
This year there were only two Euronics awards. Stuart Cook explained the rationale behind the newly introduced ‘The Supporter of the Independent’ award: “We looked at our suppliers and it was obvious that some were making every effort to support the members, whether it was in displays, product design or availability, but most importantly where the member can make a margin – and not just occasionally but regularly.” The award went to Rangemaster who provided the members with “an enormous range in every colour under the sun” and increased its turnover with the group by 16%.
The Supplier of the Year award was given to Siemens, a brand that has consistently supported CIH members, helping them to make a profit in a tough trading environment.