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October 2019 ertonline.co.uk


Steve with members of the Sirius Buying Group team at the recent Awards Dinner Right: With retailer and manufacturer members of the Group


15


Director at Sirius Buying Group, tells ERT. “Yes, business could be better, but nobody is


throwing in the towel, in fact, it’s completely the opposite as extra support becomes available.” With the currently available benefits to support Sirius members, the Group is determined to continue increasing these as businesses grow and diversify. The Group has held its annual trade show every year since 2001, and it has taken place at the Forest of Arden Hotel for the past 15 years.


Mr Jones explains that this year the Annual General Meeting was held in the same room that was first used for the trade show – which has since


expanded a lot in size – a clear indication of how the Group has changed and grown over the years. “The Trade Show was really good year this year,”


he reports. “One thing we noticed was that retailers were starting to talk to a larger variety of suppliers, as well as their usual contacts, which is a really good sign about how electrical retail is changing and the areas these retailers are looking to move into. “It seems to be that they’re more encouraged to do that at the moment, whether that’s because it’s a sign of the times and they’re looking for other avenues to explore in their businesses, we can definitely see evidence of this happening.”


S


irius Buying Group was founded in 2001


and it has grown tremendously over the years; today there are 170 members with an extensive collection of home appliance and kitchen retail brands and 250 retail outlets. The Group holds various key events throughout the year and last month it held its annual VIP Trade Show and Awards Dinner, bringing together retailer members and approved suppliers to showcase the latest products and discuss new business ideas. Retailer, manufacturer and distributor accolades


were presented at the Awards Dinner and the evening was presented by comedian, Russ Williams, and there was also a charity auction on the night. “There was an extremely upbeat and positive atmosphere throughout the whole day, irrespective of the challenges we all face,” Steve Jones, Commercial


Q: What was feedback like from visitors to the trade show this year, and how are they feeling about the market? SJ: Feedback was good! I think retailers are starting to realise that they need to do some different things in order to survive and remain relevant, as it’s a really tough market out there at the moment. Some people we speak to are a bit more… shall we say, realistic, about trading and future prospects, and others are simply getting on with running their businesses and adapting as they see fit. But there is clear evidence of our members investing in their businesses, looking for new ideas and opportunities to keep things fresh. With the Group itself, everything has to work


together. In all of the discussions we have throughout the year with our suppliers they’re always saying they want to work closer with members, and we help with that with roadshows and bespoke meetings for our members. We’re always exploring new prospects and different opportunities for our suppliers in order for them to grow with our membership.


Q: How are you working with your members on a day-to-day basis?


SJ: Well, we’ve got Darren Scott, our National Business Development Manager, out on the road; he has two key areas that he focuses on, one being membership recruitment and the second as day-to- day contact for our members. He spends a lot of time speaking with and calling on members to focus as much purchasing as possible with our approved suppliers but to also identify any potential new opportunities with them. Darren also does a great job maximising the purchasing the member is doing within Sirius and in turn their rebates that they earn, which are so important to them. In addition, Mark Veysey, General Manager, is in


charge of developing the services within the Group and Joe Howes, our Data and Marketing Manager, looks after our electronic communications to ensure our members get all the offers from suppliers. Our suppliers can see the efforts and lengths we go to to maximise the loyalty we have in the Group. We pride ourselves on our members’ loyalty with our approved suppliers and this certainly contributes to us sustaining our business as a Group during challenging market conditions.


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