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Company’s update: Big Red Sales Vogel’s at Godden & Curtis in Sherborne

Simon Beard, proprietor of Godden & Curtis in Sherborne, Dorset, previously only sold ‘cheap’ Chinese TV wall brackets until he was recently persuaded by Frank Baker of Big Red Sales to give Vogel’s a chance. And Simon has not looked back.

“It makes sense to stock a quality brand when you are selling brands such as Panasonic. After all, what is the sense of using a cheap bracket when you are coupling it with high quality TVs. “ And Simon has nothing but praise for the

Vogel’s demo board, which has already managed to sell two Vogel’s, brackets almost ‘on its own’. Simon was with a customer who was interested in a wall bracket when he had to break off to answer the shop phone. “While I was on the phone the customer started interacting with the demo board, and by the time I had finished the call, she had decided to buy not only the 1145 but also the Thin 345 series. She bought her £1400 television after that,” says Simon. Simon’s advice to other retailers? Go for quality and demonstrate. “What’s the point of having a bracket in a box in your shop. Customers can only appreciate the full features of a quality bracket such as Vogel’s if they can try it for themselves,” he says. Simon adds that compared with the cheap Chinese brand Vogel’s is “a pleasure to fit, and a pleasure to use. And once customers see what the Vogel’s’ brackets can do, price doesn’t come into it,” he adds.

Sennheiser in trendy Crouch End

Since headphones have been one of the two growth categories in recent months, it’s no wonder that Audio Gold in Crouch End wouldn¹t be without them. In fact, although they have been stocking headphones since they started up, selling second-hand hi- fi products 20 years ago, it is only in the last few years that sales have really taken off as a result of Music on the Move.

Because of its location near Hampstead and Highgate the shop attracts a lot of celebs, musicians and DJs and it is widely acknowledged to be one of the best audio shops in London. Says joint owner Richard Goldsmith; “We have always sold Sennheiser because they have a good reputation. They make good products and their products excite us in terms of wanting to sell them.”

Small is beautiful for H & H Electronics

“When we first heard of Linsar a few years ago my initial reaction was ‘not another obscure brand that will cost more in time and effort getting the things fixed than we make in profit’… I couldn’t have been more wrong. Since we started selling Linsar three years ago we haven’t looked back” says Phil Sheldon, shop manager at H & H Electronics in Biggleswade, Herts. They did particularly well with them during the

recent digital switchover. Continues Phil: “Demand for small screen televisions locally was huge and none of the big players sell a good selection of small sets. We have traditionally just sold Panasonic TVs, but as they have all but turned their back on smaller TVs, we needed an alternative, and that is where Linsar came in”.

Phil is particularly impressed with the Linsar range.

Available with and without DVD, the ability to record, rewind and pause live TV onto a USB stick, the ‘big button’ remote controls – ideal for older customers – plus ‘the icing on the cake’, a five-year warranty. He continues: “All our staff find selling Linsar sets a breeze. They offer a great mix of functionality for the price and the warranty gives the brand real credibility. We also find that dealing with a small manufacturer so much easier. On the rare occasion we have a problem we know we can just get on the phone and it will be resolved immediately.” And the bottom line? “I can now honestly say that there would be a huge hole in our business now if it were not for Linsar,” concludes Phil.

As well as adding to the bottom line, headphones are invaluable for footfall he says, adding “Selling headphones is a great way to get people, especially youngsters, into the store. And once they're inside, they look at other things.” He and his business partner Ben

Shallcross have very strong views about sustainability and are particularly keen on selling headphones in cardboard boxes. Says Richard: “I am glad to see that Sennheiser are gradually introducing more products in cardboard boxes. It is important that music sets a good example.”

May 2012 The Independent Electrical Retailer 27

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