the BIG interview

The experience of working for Cadbury had

a particular effect on Will’s subsequent work at Groupe SEB. “Groupe SEB has a very similar culture to the one that Cadbury had initially which made it a perfect fit for me. I believe that every experience that I have had has helped me within Groupe SEB where I started as Sales Director, then was promoted to Commercial Director (Sales & Marketing) before taking on this role. I could point to leadership training, customer relationships, process and reporting, IT infrastructure, personal development, financial management etc. and all would be equally as important… as was the opportunity for me to take on a new challenge, be energised and lead a new team to achieve some great things.” With all the pieces in place then, how would

Will describe his vision for Groupe SEB UK&I? “My vision starts with the people, building high performing teams that are proud, motivated and rewarded to deliver industry leading results! We will use our heritage of innovation, global capability in new categories and new retail models to deliver superior performance in the UK and Irish markets. That may sound bold, but I truly believe we have the team and portfolio to achieve it – and more importantly the team believes it too!” It’s a well-reported fact that trading conditions for many smaller retailers is

October/November 2019

challenging, not only with the spectre of Brexit but also with the seemingly unstoppable rise of online shopping. What can companies like Groupe SEB offer to help these smaller independent businesses compete and be successful in a tough and competitive market? Will believes the independent sector must differentiate to remain relevant to the communities they serve, as he explains. “The market is truly challenged, and we are living through unprecedented but hugely exciting times. The Independent sector is an area which we would really want to support more, their survival is after all critical to our communities, however they have to offer points of difference to ensure that they remain relevant.”

So how does he suggest retailers offer the best experience they can for their customers? “Today having a hugely compelling instore offer that runs in parallel with a friction free ecommerce site, mobile-enabled, is critical. Instore a combination of customer service and expert knowledge, with a sheltered, well curated range covering good/better/best price points are core to survival, all of which Tefal offers. Layered on top of this should be instore activation which educates their shoppers (and drives full price sales), along with a relevant event-based promotional calendar. Within the ecommerce site, whilst price is a hygiene factor, shoppers are actually looking at the full experience. Category guides, rich content, comparison tables, ratings, reviews and brand campaigns are all essential ingredients for shoppers to move from consideration to purchase.” Will concludes by pointing to the Group’s

own experience of retail operations, and offers a hand to any retailer looking for help and support. “Having our own stores enables me to understand their challenges well, and it also means I truly appreciate how hard people are having to work to remain in business. Anyone who wants further support should contact us, challenge us to help their business grow, and let’s see what we can do together.” | 15

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