Premium Italian appliance manufacturer Smeg is planning to open two more Smeg Zone shop-in-shop areas in independent retailers this year, including one at the new HBH Woolacotts store in Plymouth, Devon.
This will take the total number of Smeg Zones to 14. Details of the second Smeg Zone are currently under wraps.
Speaking exclusively to ERT, Smeg UK sales director Paul Barker said: “We’ve done 12 so far and we have plans to open two more. We’ve opened three this year – Peter Tyson in Carlisle, Herbert Todd in York and Borshch in Birmingham – and we’re in advanced planning with Woolacotts’s new Plymouth store.”
The move will see Smeg strengthening its presence in the independent retail sector.
Commented Smeg UK managing director, Mike Giddings: “Smeg Zones have evolved over the past two or three years and have become a vital part of what we do. It’s the start of a process of us re-establishing ourselves as a brand for independents.”
Mr Giddings told ERT that the company was also looking at how to ramp up its business with independents.
He said: “We’re working on a total package for independents – we believe there are at least 40 to 50 quality retailers out there that we’re already doing good business with, but we could do a lot better.
“Independents are vital for us – the natural habit of the products we sell are independents and department stores. Those are the two areas we should be the most successful in. For us to move forward, we’re looking at a total package – it’s a 2018 initiative that we’re starting to work on now. It’s going to be very important for us.”
He added: “Those 40 to 50 retailers across the whole country will have a high quality of staff and will give us the real estate displays and support that we think our consumers are starting to look for or demanding. They won’t all be Smeg Zones, but they will be premium partners. We totally believe that’s the next step for us – to harness those 50 independent customers that understand the brand and want to do more with it. We want to give them the tools to maximise their potential.”
- Left to right – Smeg UK sales director Paul Barker and managing director, Mike Giddings