‘Biggest profit opportunity in 20 years,’ says Glen Dimplex CEO

From the Retra conference in London

The smart home is the biggest profit opportunity in 20 years and retailers who ignore it do so at their peril, Andy Griffiths, the CEO of Glen Dimplex Consumer Appliances, has warned.

In his keynote speech at this year’s Retra conference (October 11) in London, Griffiths (pictured) told delegates: “The connected home is a game-changer – period. It’s also so fundamentally far-reaching that we will look back in 10 years and be amazed at the way we used to do things and the way we used to live. It will take time to build and time to properly implement.”

He added: “Ignore the smart home at your peril – it’s the biggest opportunity for profitable channel engagement in 10 years. Although the Internet of Things is, today, at a relatively embryonic stage, the fact is that from a product development perspective, it is simply the next natural capability coming out of the R&D labs. Today’s smart products, which aggregate content and manipulate software, have already given us unparalleled access to information and experiences for the masses.”

Griffiths said that retailers shouldn’t be scared of smart products and the connected home, but that the customer offering needed to be redefined, from pre-sale to the point of purchase and post-sale, adding: “That means educating and providing as much rich and digital information as your hungry customer needs and demands.”

He suggested that retailers need to work with great brands to develop smart-home experiences in-store and bring scenarios to life: “Consumers still demand to try it for themselves and personal contact gives you the chance to pursue the post-sale solution. A confirmed sale is just the start of getting to know your customer – here’s your chance to build a multilayered and long-term relationship, with bespoke packages and bundles.”

Griffiths said: “Your store and website must be a great experience and it’s crucial that’s followed through in the customer’s home.”

When asked what the role for independent retailers was in selling the smart home, he said: “They have to deliver it and execute it – as an industry, when we’re at our best, we’re connecting with consumers properly, with serious campaigns, great shows and experiences. When we’re at our worst, we’re really insular and inward-looking. The thing to do is look at the bigger picture and connect with consumers out there who are desperate for help.”

He added: “Our industry has survived and prospered by continuously reinventing itself – the only difference this time is that it [the smart home] is a big one and it should be good for us over the next five to 10 years.”

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