Looking for business

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Many visitors to this year’s IFA commented that the solutions, both in the consumer electronics and domestic appliances field, showcased there were genuine innovations (for full IFA report turn to page 12). Sony’s Personal 3D viewer, LG’s PenTouch TV, Toshiba’s glasses-free 3D autostereoscopic TV and LG’s SBS with Smart Manager food system that with the help of a mobile phone updates the owner on the contents of their fridge – are just some examples.

This is a good reflection of the nature of our industry, which is both astonishing and exasperating. It frustrates with its trading practices and at the same time amazes with a constant flow of product innovations that often far surpasses what was deemed possible only twelve months before.

And yet some independent retailers still operate in the same way the sector worked decades ago. At present the consumers need lots more coaxing and incentives to spend money with you so it’s even more of an imperative to “go out every day looking for business” as Tim Moss said when I met him last month in Bath.

Every independent has their own tested and proved strategies and ways of winning new business. Some of it is common sense, some are valuable insights acquired through years of practice. Since the role of the trade press is not only to inform about new developments but also to foster best practice, we decided to introduce a new column in IER, starting from the November issue, in which the independents will give their perspective on the market, its challenges and opportunities. 

A number of the leading dealers have already agreed to contribute to the column and I hope that this will encourage others to share their views and advice. Don’t hesitate to have your say.

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