The head of Miele in the UK has acknowledged that the appliance giant must learn lessons from how it has communicated with its retailers over supply delays.
Speaking on the latest episode of the award-winning kbbreview Podcast, the managing director for the UK, Ireland and South Africa John Pickering (pictured) said that the company didn’t always have the “necessary clarity” to give to its retail network during the lockdown period.
“We take that very seriously and we commit to trying to do an even better job,” he said. “I can’t talk about any other brands but we’re all managing similar situations and, fundamentally, there has to be a better job that we can do to manage this information.
“And I would really like to say thank you and respect the patience that our partners have had when we haven’t been able to deliver – it doesn’t get taken for granted and our job is to try and improve that communication where we can.”
Pickering said that the supply situation is ‘much improved’ and the advice to kitchen retailers is to order appliances at the same time as the furniture as there are still some backlogs.
In the exclusive podcast interview, Pickering also defended the company’s position on selling products direct to consumers via its website and Experience Centres – the third of which has just opened in Edinburgh, following central London and Abingdon.
“It is something we need to manage sensitively,” he said. “I don’t believe that having a viable direct business…has to be in conflict with our support for [the kitchen specialist] sector – an area that is actually only increasing as we made it a strategic priority.
“The experiential elements of how our customers connect with our products, the training that we offer and the fantastic quality of advice that independent kitchen retail gives to potential customers is such an important piece that it has to live in partnership. There’ll be elements of that we have to manage but there is no reason it can’t work well as long as we work together.
“Direct sales will be an important part of our business going forward, but it won’t be the number one priority over and above independent kitchen retail. [They] are a critical part of our business strategy going forward but our direct business is here to stay and our job is to make sure it’s a manageable partnership.
You can listen to the full interview with John Pickering in the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast using the player below or by clicking on this link