July/August 2021

The kitchen showroom at Abbey Appliances in Worcestershire


‘We can help retailers add to their bottom line’

Steve Jones from Sirius Buying Group and Robert Williamson

from Symphony Group talk about their partnership helping electrical retailers move into the world of fully-fitted kitchens.


irius Buying Group has been working with Symphony Group (one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of fitted kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture) for about five years helping electrical retailers diversify into new areas of business.

Managing Director of Sirius, Steve Jones, and Robert Williamson, National

Business Development Manager at Symphony, believe that selling fitted kitchens is an untapped area for a lot of retailers. “If someone’s buying a complete kitchen why wouldn’t they buy all their appliances from you as well?” In this exclusive article for ERT, the pair talk about their flourishing partnership inthis rapidly-growing corner of the market.

Steve Jones: As a group, our membership continues to grow consistently and we had more new members join in the last 12 months than in any year previously; we are pleased to see a good chunk of these members are kitchen retailers as well as our traditional electrical retailer. Our offering is very unique to the kitchen channel; our strength is in appliances

and this is where kitchen retailers can struggle, as they make good margin on the furniture but when it comes to appliances, broadly speaking it is more of a hassle. The opportunity we see is that, historically, kitchen retailers are not very turned on by the prospect of reduced margins on appliance sales as they are so used to making higher margins on kitchen furniture and installation. But Sirius can help retailers add to their bottom line, both on furniture and

appliances, working closely with Symphony Group. We enjoy a great partnership, as we do with all of our suppliers, but it’s a two-pronged approach – we want to develop our offering in the kitchen channel and we want to give our existing members another string to their bow. Robert and his team give our members who are interested the confidence

to get involved or sell more and those already selling kitchens have said they wished they started doing it sooner!

Robert Williamson: Sirius is an extended part of the Symphony family and the support we get from the whole team is second-to-none. It’s all about

opening up new avenues for members. If some electrical retailers are not careful they could come unstuck if they don’t diversify. If a retailer can display working appliances in a kitchen environment in their store there is much more chance of selling these because the customer can envisage using them in their home. For the consumer it’s just a different thought process buying a kitchen, it’s

a much more personal purchase and there’s so much more loyalty than appliance sales where it’s just about boxes going out.

Together again SJ: We have not been able to physically host our Sirius Trade Show and Conference for the past 18 months, but it’s full steam ahead for our Trade Show to return in September. It is incredibly important for our members and suppliers to get back together; it has always proven to be extremely successful and we are confident in our plans to host this Show in a manner with everyone’s health and safety a priority. There will be a real mix of new business opportunities to discuss at the

Show. For those considering selling kitchens it’s great to get in front of furniture and see how this is so integral to their business. We still don’t lose sight of who we want to work with, it’s not just a scatter

gun approach because we want to make in-roads to the kitchen channel. This is about taking what we do well, providing more opportunities and support to independent retailers, and applying this to the kitchen channel. Our relationship with Symphony helps us offer the complete package.

RW: We have plans to hold open days later in the year where we will gather together several appliance and kitchen retailers – some existing Sirius members and some not, but we will engage about the benefits of being part of the Group. There’s nothing better than hearing from a retailer who was once very cautious about joining but who is now singing the praises of Symphony and Sirius!

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