CIH boss: “Local retail has never been stronger”

CIH has reported that post-COVID-19 lockdown sales for its members are significantly ahead of the same period last year.

“Our members have emerged from lockdown in really good shape,” commented CIH’s Chief Executive, Stuart Cook. “Moving into June, sales were up 25 per cent on the same month in 2019, July was up 69 per cent, August was up 50 per cent, and September was also up by 66 per cent.

“Local retail is performing well with customers valuing the depth of local support, service and expertise that our members can provide. Our experience tells us that it’s not just about online only. Far from it. The local store has a huge role to play in helping customers find the right electrical goods, then, get them delivered and installed safely and professionally into their home.”

During lockdown, 90 per cent of CIH members remained open, continuing to trade behind closed doors with doorstep deliveries until installations were later permitted again.

Read more from Stuart Cook about how CIH supported its members this year in the latest ERT Interview.

Richard Putland, Operations Director at Sheffield-based CIH member, Williams Electrical, said: “We carried on serving our community during lockdown through online and telephone sales, with just two members of staff holding the fort. We were so fortunate to have Euronics backing us up, with stock availability and regular deliveries, plus lots of help and advice when it came time to reopen.

“Since 15 June, we have been incredibly busy and are seeing lots of new faces coming into the store. We’ve definitely noticed a shift towards supporting local stores and lots of customers have mentioned how glad they are that we are always around to help.

“Williams Electrical has been a part of this community for 115 years and we couldn’t have done that without the support of our loyal customers, as well as CIH and Euronics.”

CIH (Combined Independent Holdings), part of Euronics, supported its members to get up and running as quickly and safely as possible after the lockdown with regular deliveries an important part of the service. Members were also supplied with PPE together with the practical information, advice and additional services that they need to get operational and COVID-19 Secure for the benefit of their customers and to protect the health and welfare of their own employees.