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Loewe has announced the appointment of James McConnell as managing director of its UK subsidiary, Loewe UK. James McConnell joins Loewe with extensive experience of the consumer electronics industry, having worked in national and international roles at blue-chip companies such as Olivetti and Kodak.

James McConnell succeeds

Marc Nikolai, who will remain with Loewe as sales manager for International Distributor Markets, based in Germany.

Beko has appointed

Matthew Jones as senior marketing manager of Beko, where he will lead the marketing activity for the brand in the UK and Ireland.

Matthew has over 18 years experience in the appliance industry, working for brands such as Miele, Panasonic and Alba, and most recently Pulse Home Products Ltd in Manchester.

Euronics has appointed Sarah Bennett as an assistant buyer, responsible for small domestic appliances, including floorcare and microwave ovens. Ms Bennett joins Euronics from grocery distributor Petty Wood, where she held the position of brand manager.


At the age of 84, after a long illness, Dennis Swannack passed away at his home in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire. Dennis will be remembered as sales director of Sobell /McMichael /GEC and later as managing director of Luxor during the early days of colour television. He was liked and respected by all in the brown goods industry. He will be sadly missed.

Working smarter

IN the current market conditions, being smart is essential for survival.

The annual industry events that took place in April had a couple of common themes – the need to adapt the independent’s offer to maximize sales in product areas that promise growth (that might be quite different from traditional offerings of the electrical independent) and the need to remain positive in the tough market – an essential attitude to be able to fight back. A crisis often forces people to become more resourceful, and this is the focus of this month’s ‘An independent point of view’ column (page 14). Its author, Ian Jones of Lutterworth Sound & Vision, advises retailers to take a look at the resources available to them to find a

smarter way of managing their business and attracting customers. Good advice is usually simple. You will also find plenty of business ideas in the interview with Robert Hughes (pages 32-33) whose symbiotic business model allows him to trade (and thrive) on a large scale and grow even in the recession. Part of his strategy is anticipation of things to come; at Hughes Electrical they planned for the post- switchover period, even before the switchover, considering how to replace the switchover products which brought that extra profit.

Finally, don’t forget to cast your vote in the Independent Business Awards 2012; you will find the voting form in the magazine or you can vote

online. In this way you can offer support to the brands that support you and show that you recognise their efforts. The results of the IB Awards are a direct reflection of the independents’ views. Please make sure that you will voice them.

Anna Ryland, Editor Smeg in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support

THE Smeg team continues their training schedule in preparation for the National Three Peaks Challenge in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland within 24 hours. The team will start the challenge on Ben Nevis reaching a height of 1344m in the late afternoon of 15 June, then they will drive to Scafell Pike climbing to 978m during the night, and complete the challenge on Snowdon on 16 June.

6 The Independent Electrical Retailer May 2012

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