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February 2019 ertonline.co.uk


Overall, I want to bring the fun back. I make a point of working in a light-hearted way… but then being serious when I need to be. That’s me. With CIH, it requires a lot more from me but I’m up for the challenge


be about selling products, it will


There have been some massive changes in the last five years, let alone the last 20 years or so, and I think changes are happening faster now; it’s becoming more and more a matter of being able to react fast to market changes rather than planning years ahead – we can’t do that now. Me coming on board has helped to give a bit extra. I already get on well with most of the manufacturers and have good working relationships with my own business. Within CIH


channels. Although, in the last 12 months the biggest growth channel is in the independent sector. I think consumers’ habits are changing and they love a retailer


that takes all


the hassle away from some of the big purchases, like installing and plumbing in washing machines, that sort of thing.


Q: What changes do you plan to introduce to CIH? SS: Some of the things we’re working


be about engaging with visitors. Retra have got a stand to help with members and they’ve got some really good ideas. I’ve got a marketing company involved as well to show us what we can do in-store that’s not expensive but can help us get more people visiting our stores. I think the members need help with this more than anything.


As well as this we’ve got the


rebranding of Euronics taking place and our newly designed logo, which will be going into showrooms in the early part of this year. Overall, I want to bring the fun back. I’m going around the country at the moment and the people I visit say that it’s a bit more of a happy atmosphere. I make a point of working in a light-hearted way...


I want to give the member more money in their business, and I want CIH to be seen as the buying group of choice so that we can be a beacon to the industry for independents


I’m seen as one of the big members due to the number of stores, but I still have the same issues as any smaller member, so I can relate and I still have to overcome these things. We want to make sure that CIH is helping independent retailers with the issues that they sometimes face because they’re on their own. Manufacturers can, to some extent, rule the roost because they’re doing massive volumes through other


on include the return of the CIH trade show, which will take place in April this year. This is a big thing and it’s been gone for two years. We’re really pushing that and the members I’ve spoken to already have said that this is the best thing that’s happened for a while. However, it was the board’s decision to bring that back - I can’t take the credit - it was going to happen anyway. This time around it


won’t just


but then being serious when I need to be. That’s me – I don’t want to suppress that just because of the role I’m in! In my own company I’m professional… most of the time! But with CIH, it requires a lot more from me but I’m up for the challenge.


Q: How will the CIH group develop this year? SS: Well, there’s our new associate membership, which helps extend our


benefits to even more independent retailers, with three deliveries a week and minimal joining fees and no upfront investment. The new package offers retailers the benefit of a stepping-stone to becoming a fully-fledged CIH member, where benefits include national advertising and marketing support, as well as advice and guidance from long- standing CIH members through Euronics’ regional groups.


CIH is firstly about the buying, but then there’s everything else that comes with being a member – the agency products and the exclusive brands, for example. We’re getting bigger on turnover now and really starting to do well. The main view maybe six months ago was that the industry will continue to decline, but we’re now seeing a complete reversal and membership for us is increasing. The portfolio of brands we’ve got is only getting bigger and more manufacturers are speaking to us now about increasing our ranges, so that’s great.


Also, the team itself at Andover does such a fantastic job. Sometimes they are not recognised by the members themselves. Us as retailers are seen by the consumer, also by the manufacturers, but everyone working hard in the office to run the CIH business isn’t mentioned that much but they do so much brilliant work in the background. And I’m looking forward to working closely with Stuart Cook, too; we want to continue to develop the group to be a force to be reckoned with!


The CIH trade show will take place on 7-8 April 2019 at the NEC Birmingham.


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