“In a year that has probably been worse than last year, our moving annual turnover is almost exactly the same and this is with fewer members; and with cost savings and streamlining we have managed to reduce the members costs as well as maintaining profit in the company,“ said CIH Chairman Robin Millwood of the Euronics Group’s past trading year at the annual CIH suppliers lunch in London.
“We have had some great opportunities for the members this year with the launch of Blomberg as an exclusive Euronics agency range and with over 250 members taking stock, it is an extremely fast selling range and bodes well for the future.
“Our Euronics.co.uk website is going from strength-to-strength and, with the national TV advertising, is creating not only huge hit rates on the site, but also directing the public to our 1200 member retail outlets.”
Stuart Cook, the group’s chief executive, told IER: “The support from the white goods suppliers for Euronics in 2010 was tremendous and it helped us to maintain the turnover figures in the tough market. Unfortunately we have seen the opposite on the brown goods side of the business. Our concern for the future is the distribution strategy from this side of the market and how the independents will be selling new technology in the future. If the leading CE suppliers won’t care for the independent, the independents will not be selling brown goods.”
Mr Millwood also revealed that CIH has partnered with the UK’s leading IT distributors, to create its online IT proposition. Stuart Cook said: “The site offers IT products, including desktop, laptop and netbook computers, together with printers and digital photography; all of which are products that do not conflict with our traditional offer.” Members can either go online, to place the order and take payment – or point their customers to the website for them to do it themselves.
Mr Cook also commented to IER on the rationale of this decision: “The IT market is a very large one with very low margins, so a logical step is to sell IT products online, particularly as there is no service required.”
Mr Milwood also thanked two industry heads, who having made a very considerable contribution to the prosperity of the CIH and the industry, are leaving the industry. Mr Uwe Hanneck who for over 30 years, has been leading the Bosch/Siemens/Neff Group, will be retiring shortly. Clayton Witter, managing director of Beko, also plans to leave his post soon.
The CIH Business Partner of the Year title was given to Ken White Distribution. The Brown Good Supplier of the Year trophy went to LG Electronics and Beko/Blomberg won the Euronics White Goods Supplier title.