trade comment

Bridging the gap R

egular readers of this column will know of the various industry summits, seminars and conferences,

which Electrical Safety First hosts. This might seem odd – given that we are a campaigning consumer protection charity – but it makes a great deal of sense. Quite simply, helping the industry to stay up-to-date with legislative changes, product innovation and risk prevention, helps ensure (albeit indirectly), better protection for consumers. With that in mind, we have two forthcoming

events that should interest anyone involved in the electrical retail supply chain. The first is a joint seminar with the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), the new body set up to deliver the highest level of protection for consumers and build confidence in the product safety system, while helping British businesses to thrive. Last March, the OPSS commissioned BSI to

develop and launch a new code of practice (PAS 7100), which offers good practice examples and practical guidance for recalling consumer products. A PAS (or publicly available specification) aims to speed up the standardisation process by providing initial guidelines for a process, product or service. In

Consumer protection and industry support are not mutually exclusive. Martyn Allen, of Electrical Safety First, explains why the charity’s work with the industry is key to reducing risk and protecting people - and business

other words, this code is the first step in the standardisation of the recall process. Our joint seminar, which will provide a

comprehensive introduction to these new guidelines, will be held on Thursday, September 20 at Westminster Conference Centre, London. Entitled Mind the Gap – are you recall ready to PAS 7100?, this afternoon event will help delegates assess how well prepared their organisation really is, when considered in the light of PAS 7100. Using selected case study scenarios, our

expert panel will review a number of key issues for ensuring an effective recall, from the role of senior management and working with enforcement authorities, to traceability, notifications and incident monitoring. We will also consider how robust risk assessment is essential for effective decision making and incident management – from the impact of tailored communications through to implementation and evaluation. You might also want to make a note in your

diaries regarding our annual product safety conference which will take place on Thursday November 29. Once again, we will be holding it at Church House, Westminster, but this year the theme is Reflecting on the Future.

The conference will focus on two specific

areas – the impact of Brexit on consumer safety and how connected technology demands connected thinking. The morning session will consider how Brexit might affect the complexity of – for example - compliance, issues around standardisation, and online sales. The afternoon session will cover topics ranging from the benefits and challenges of connected technology, to product liability and the impact of GDPR on consumer engagement. At the end of the conference, there will be a drinks reception, where delegates can network in a more informal atmosphere and have the opportunity to continue discussions with our expert speakers. To survive, the electrical retail industry has to

adapt to a rapidly changing environment – from the diversification of retail channels and changes in consumer taste, to product innovation and new legislation. And the more you know the better you can prepare for, and use, these changes. Apprising you of these developments helps ensure safe and sustainable businesses. This is, we believe, good for the consumer and industry alike. • For ESF events, please contact: Neelam., or visit

‘Locking into turnkey opportunities’

More and more positive, determined and ultimately successful independents keep investing in diversified opportunities, write Sirius Buying Group events director Stuart Hopwood


usiness diversification is nothing new as it goes back centuries since trading began. Much more recently,

many high profile and successful brown goods retailers chose to either specialise in pure hi-fi, the CI (Custom Install) arena or, increased their white goods sales along with its greater percentage rise in sustainable profits. Ultimately, for those who chose the white goods direction, their increased ratio of business is now dominating, with many reporting an 80:20 ratio. The increase of sales, whether SDA (small domestic appliances) or MDA (major domestic appliances), has provided a profitable lifeline for the independent retailer. As experts and resellers of domestic appliances, such products become an integral part of the homes fully furnished ‘central hub’. Whether a stylish kettle, toaster set or the latest connected MDA, these are sought after to enhance what is now classed as the home’s most important room.

September 2018

The electrical independent has always seized on eagerness and opportunity to satisfy their customer’s appetite to improve lifestyle within the realms of products they supply. This is no doubt one of several reasons why

a significant increase of Sirius Buying Group members are now providing the full, turnkey service of providing their customers with their dream kitchen including all domestic appliances. Creating opportunities for all its members

to secure the opportunities in diversification is paramount to the success of future business. As such, having the amazing full support of its approved suppliers, more than 95% of the membership visits the Sirius annual Trade Show in September. With kitchens now becoming an integral

part of the consumer electronics and domestic appliance market, where are the next opportunities for our independent retailers? Offering a turnkey solution for customers with a fully furnished kitchen is a definite solution to secure future business. But not for all.

If unable to diversify into kitchen furniture

owing to showroom space, maybe, as an additional, profitable opportunity, sell some quality housewares - the ‘pots ‘n’ pans’ or other utensils everyone uses in the kitchen. You’ll be amazed at the high profits you can achieve and the great satisfaction of providing your customer with a ‘complete’ package. Wanting to diversify into a different, yet

associated market? Locking into the provision of providing a turnkey security system for your customers could also provide extra business for the sales of other parts of the business. There are several high-quality HD CCTV

systems now available, either for ‘plug n’ play’ or custom install. Some having the benefit of full HD and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) facilities, you could be doing your community many big favours in crime prevention or detection. Who knows, a customer who feels safe, trusting

you to complete a full security system, may also extend the trust to purchase their dream kitchen? | 15

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