Despite recessionary pressures, the key players in the industry have just launched – as always at the beginning of the year – a great deal of genuine product innovation. A strong and consistent message has also emerged from the recent launches – that of a need to continue putting value back into the electrical market.
First, at the Sony Key Dealer Event in Dublin, Steve Dowdle, managing director of Sony UK, suggested that in the current situation the players in this industry have two options open to them – going down market (and eventually out of business) or working on keeping up the value. With its latest product line-up, Sony has clearly showed its intentions.
Neil Mesher, managing director of Philips Consumer Lifestyle, had a similar message at the launch of Philips Cinema 21:9 LCD TV. He also declared that Philips would cease to be a mass-market brand in the UK and become one of the leaders in the premium sector, which is sustained on product innovations. He also asked independents for their support in adding value to the marketplace.
Where does this leave electrical independents? Some of you would say: where they have always been – leading the electrical retail with their professionalism and service excellence and trading smartly, which particularly now means being much more flexible, agile and fast. I would also add – being very active in professional associations and keeping industry bodies informed of your needs. Their job is to convey your concerns to the highest levels where the crucial decisions about regulations, planning and taxation are made.
Anna Ryland, Editor