Steve Scogings, managing director of the Stellisons chain of nine electrical stores, has hit out at appliance manufacturers over the terms he gets compared with kitchen specialists.
Talking exclusively to ERT’s sister magazine kbbreview, Mr Scogings complained that he was denied access by most manufacturers to ranges sold exclusively in kitchen studios and that he was given less favourable terms.
“Manufacturers won’t give us the terms because we are a retailer. It really gets on my wick,” complained Mr Scogings. “And they have specialist products only for kitchen showrooms. I say, well what do you think I am then?”
Five of his nine showrooms have dedicated kitchen displays, and his superstore in Ipswich has an entire floor devoted to kitchens and bedrooms.
Mr Scogings said: “Ipswich is all kitchens and bedrooms upstairs. It’s more of a showroom than most kitchen showrooms, but I get penalised on terms, because I have a retail side as well, and it’s not right.
“The trouble is,” he added, “that Stellisons is known as a retailer and because of that our kitchen showrooms, and we have four proper kitchen showrooms, are treated as secondary. Which is wrong. The kitchen channel is a little one-man-band in his showroom doing maybe 50 kitchens a year if he’s lucky, one a week. But he will take every penny out of the business every year as he’s not interested in growing it, he’s happy just to earn a living.
“My business ploughs what it makes back into the business because we want to see it succeed in a bigger way every year. The kitchen showrooms make us money and I think we do quite a good job of it. But manufacturers won’t give us the terms because we are a retailer.”
Mr Scogings feels that this is a big issue for electrical retailers as he believes more and more of them will get into kitchens, because “there is money in it”.
In Bristol, Nailsea Electrical is an electrical retailer that is also big in kitchens. Nailsea co-owner Ben Gilks said he was completely in agreement with the comments from Mr Scogings at Stellisons.
“It’s one of our continual gripes and I simply don’t understand why they give better terms to kitchen specialists when you look at the quantity of products they sell compared with us,” he said. “It may not be huge, under 10 per cent, but it adds up over a year. I think it is because appliance manufacturers are desperate to get into kitchen studios and they are tempted by the prospect of multiple appliance sales.”