Steve Scogings, chairman of CIH, part of Euronics, spoke out against direct selling at its annual event where the buying group announced its top suppliers of the year.
Scogings outlined the challenges the buying group has faced during 2022, especially manufacturers selling direct to the consumer.
He commented: “Why continue down this path when we can offer you a better solution? As independents, we are the experts in managing consumers issues, we are on hand to help a consumer who cannot work a new product or is having issues on how to tune their TV or has a service issue and wants someone to hold their hand through what they need to do to get the product repaired.
“We also deliver and install better than any third-party delivery company as it’s our reputation on the line. Consumers are continually choosing our members to fulfil their needs because of this second-to-none service offering.”
Looking to the future, Scogings urged brands to work with CIH and reconsider direct selling: “My hope this year is that we all work together to confront this challenge and help produce a solution that helps all of us to achieve the growth we require, but also give the consumer the best experience. You do not need to do D2C to have a strong brand and if you are willing to work with us, we can prove it.”
Euronics also announced its top suppliers of the year at the event.
Winner of White Goods Supplier of the Year was Hoover Candy. Scogings said of the award: “It is the brand that has shown consistent growth over the past few years. It continues to go from strength to strength and having added even more products to its portfolio continues to deliver well above average margin opportunities for the members.”
Brown Goods Supplier of the Year went to Sony, and the third award was the award for the brand that had shown a commitment to the independent retailer. The winner in this category was Liebherr. Scogings commented: “The winner is a brand that has recently added some of their products in to Agency for the first time and shown a real effort to help every member show and sell their products.”
The final award presented was Members’ Supplier of the Year, which was voted for by CIH member retailers. This is judged not just on turnover, but also visits from reps, the returns process and marketing support. This year the winner was Beko/Blomberg.
Scogings also announced at the event that Euronics is to launch a major new e-commerce platform in April next year, called Euronics Evolution, which the buying group hopes will rival the major online players.
Speaking of the new platform, Scogings said: “It has been a long time coming, but Evolution will lead the way in an online offering that not only gives us national visibility for all the products we supply through agency, but will also include further products from ranges that the members buy direct.
“The initial launch will be a few thousand extra products on the site with the intent to ramp this up over the following months. This will utilise the 600-plus stores we have over the whole country to highlight what they all have to offer, while also giving the consumer a wider choice and the bonus of dealing with a local company. This will further enhance our standing with consumers and give all our members the chance to get involved online and showcase the many benefits they offer their local communities.”
Euronics intends to make its e-commerce platform a major online player. Scogings added: “Our intention is to grow this business to rival the major online players over the next three years and once again cement our place as the best omni-channel offering in our market.”
Scogings also outlined in his speech how CIH has moved into a major new distribution facility at Tanksersley and has invested in technology to help members and a suppliers handle data better. He explained that CIH has been working with Euronics International on a PIM system that will eventually feed not only its digital ticketing proposition but also in-store display solutions.