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January 2021 ertonline.co.uk


The ERT Awards 2020 winners announced!


For the first time ever, the ERT Awards was a live-streamed ceremony hosted online last month, celebrating the best and brightest from across the electrical retail industry in a virtual format. There were 11 hotly-contested


categories this year recognising both retailer and manufacturer success. The event was hosted by


comedian Ian Moore, with a welcome speech from ERT’s Editor, Jack Cheeseman.


You can watch back this year’s ERT Awards online, simply


head to www.ertawards.co.uk. And there’s full coverage in this issue from page 14.


Steve Jones becomes new MD at Sirius Buying Group


Steve Jones has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Sirius Buying Group. It said the promotion of Mr


Jones – who steps up from his role as Commercial Director within the Group – is testament to his continued dedication and level of expertise within the electrical appliance and kitchen retail industry. Mr Jones is very well renowned across


the whole electrical retail industry, and the Group said in its statement that he is dedicated to helping the independents stay independent, enabling retailers to reach their full market potential.


John Lewis stops click & collect orders in department stores


Click and collect services within John Lewis department stores have been stopped as the retailer makes changes during the current COVID-19 lockdown. New orders will now not be able to be collected. The retail giant said it is conscious of the increased need to remove reasons for non-essential travel during the current lockdown, and to help encourage the public to stay at home. It has also paused non-essential in-home


services; installations teams will now only carry out a significantly reduced range of activities in customers’ homes. All existing bookings will be honoured where the customer still wishes to proceed, but no further bookings for non- essential services will be accepted. Andrew Murphy, Executive Director,


Operations at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We are constantly thinking about how best the Partnership and our Partners can play our part in limiting the spread and impact of the virus. “While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us – and in the best interests of our


Partners and customers – to take proactive steps to further enhance our COVID-security and related operational policies.” This comes as JL Partnership became one


of the first UK businesses to roll-out NHS Test and Trace lateral flow COVID-19 testing just before Christmas, thanks to a partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care. The scheme will provide capability to test


around 16,000 employees and temporary agency staff per week; this included (before the latest lockdown came into effect) 40 John Lewis and Waitrose locations in England, including selected retail stores, supply chain sites, customer fulfilment centres and some factory sites.


This year marks Mr Jones’s 16th year with


the company; he started out as Administration Manager before progressing to Commercial Manager and then Commercial Director in 2016. “To say this is a massive honour is an


understatement,” Mr Jones commented. “I am extremely proud to continue being an authoritative figure for our members and mutual support mechanism for retail development and economic efficiency. It is definitely the members’ company, but I will continue to look after Sirius as if it were my own – both present and future!” A raft of new initiatives in 2021 will “take


the group to even greater heights”, Sirius Buying Group said, with further opportunities for new and established members.


Business owners say ‘get vaccinated Brits back in stores’


to aid their recovery Independent retailers are among other business owners that are considering inviting COVID-vaccinated customers back into their premises, en-masse, in an attempt to save their businesses. New research has revealed that, as the COVID-19 vaccination


is actively being rolled out to the UK’s nine high priority groups, 92 per cent of independent public-facing company owners in the retail, hospitality, leisure and travel sectors are thinking of inviting customers who can prove their vaccination status back as soon as possible. myGP is the UK’s largest independent GP booking and


healthcare management app; currently planned for release next month, the myGP TICKet will allow businesses whose viability depends upon operating at capacity – such as the retail sector – the ability to open either full or part-time to vaccinated individuals, without the need to observe strict social distancing rules. Tobias Alpsten, the innovator behind myGP TICKet and Founder


and CEO of iPLATO Healthcare and myGP, commented: “There are more than six million businesses on their knees in the UK today, which not only impacts the economy, but also the mental and physical health of their owners and employees. “Many of the businesses we have spoken with about introducing


‘temporary access events’ for vaccinated customers are calling it a short-term lifeline – a way to get the tills ringing as soon as possible, as they make a slow return to a ‘new normal’.”


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