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Shopfloor DEALER PROFILE: KNEES HOME AND ELECTRICAL DEALER PROFILE: STELLISONS Kitchens key for growth 42


This month, ERT visited Stellisons in Chelmsford, Essex where MD, Steve Scogings, spoke about what makes the business stand out and how kitchen fi tting plays a part in this.


S


ince 1962, Stellisons has made a name for itself as a true independent retailer, growing in size and diversifying into new areas in order to remain relevant. The


business started by refurbishing and reconditioning appliances, before moving to sell Hoover products in the 1970s, and this servicing side of the business is still going today. The retailer now operates from nine stores across Essex, Suffolk and Kent in the South East, from the original 1,500sq ft Benfleet branch, to Chelmsford, its highest turnover store, which opened in 2008. On a recent visit to this particular store, Steve Scogings, Stellisons Managing Director, chatted to Jack Cheeseman about the latest changes at the store and how he is never not thinking about work. “I enjoy being the boss of this company, with


my brother doing a great job running the service department,” he says. “For me, this isn’t a job, it’s my


lifestyle. Most of my friends are from this industry and we’re always talking and sharing ideas. “And with my role as Chairman of CIH, I wanted to do that to help move the whole independent channel forward. I really believe that we’re stronger if we’re together.


“I enjoy what I do and I always have; I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years since I left college and started repairing vacuum cleaners for my dad when I was 14!”


is holding us all back and consumers are not willing to spend.


Retailers have got to continue to make their stores better than ever, it’s not just ‘stack it high sell it cheap’, that certainly doesn’t work anymore. There are a lot of changes needed in the industry. It’s a chicken and egg situation – without investment we won’t grow but without growing the business we can’t invest. We’re a large business – you’d think we’d be well placed to ride the storm, but we’re suffering and we’ve cut our cloth to suit in the last few years.


Q: How are you finding the retail market at the moment? SS: Everybody is quiet at the moment and retail is suffering. The uncertainty in the political landscape


Q: So, how are you trying to combat this? SS: We’re gradually working on a better online presence – that’s my next project. But it’s a slow learning curve for us. Manufacturers used to really shy away from helping you set up online; I believe that some are


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