Paul Tyler, BSH’s former retail channel director and now CEO of buying group CIH, has said that he is ‘disappointed’ in manufacturers that choose to sell direct to consumers.
“I am still disappointed,” he said. “It’s the journey they have decided to make. I have taken more phone calls from members in recent weeks on this topic than on any other. Our members have grown these brands over the years. [Manufacturers] develop awesome products and what our members are great at is taking those products and helping customers filter down the ones that are right for them. They take the consumer on a journey. For me, I am not sure how many consumers would choose to buy from manufacturers.”
Direct sales to consumers will, Tyler said, put a “strain on the relationship between retailers and manufacturers” and he believes they need to be transparent in their communication.
“I am encouraging our members to have dialogues with manufacturers,” he said. “Working together is key still. We have heard that there are manufacturers who are maybe not taking such a reasonable or rational approach to addressing this. It will be interesting to see how members respond to that.”
Tyler’s comments come just weeks after Gunjan Srivastava, the UK CEO of his former company BSH, revealed in an exclusive interview with kbbreview that the company was seriously exploring direct consumer sales .
However, in that interview, Srivastava said that the intention was not to compete directly with its retail partner.s
“Direct to consumer is something that is a global strategic priority for us. It’s in our vision and we have looked closely at that in the last year to 18 months,” he said. “But, for us, direct to consumer is not about us going out there and competing with retailers, the idea is to be closer to the consumer and understand the entire journey as much as possible.
“Our going business-to-consumer does not mean any reduction or rethink in what we do [with retailers]. Most consumers want to shop in a multi-brand environment, and they’ll continue to do that, but some of them might want to shop in an exclusive environment and that’s what this will provide to them.”
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