CIH reveals its top suppliers for 2022, and Chairman addresses direct-to-consumer challenge

CIH held its annual Christmas lunch in London yesterday, where the group revealed its top suppliers for 2022.

Chairman Steve Scogings took to the stage to reveal the winners. Firstly, White Goods Supplier of the Year was announced as Hoover Candy. Mr Scogings said it was a brand “that has shown consistent growth” over the past few years, and that “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”.

Meanwhile, Sony was awarded Brown Goods Supplier of the Year after growing its partnership with CIH (part of the Euronics buying group), and the third award was all about highlighting a brand’s commitment to the independent retailer – and the winner was Liebherr.

The final award – the Members’ Supplier of the Year – is handed to a brand that’s voted for by CIH member retailers. “This is not just based on turnover,” Mr Scogings said, “but a multitude of factors such as sales rep visits, the returns process and marketing support.” This year the winner was Beko/Blomberg.

The Beko/Blomberg team collecting their award, with Mr Scogings and CIH CEO, Paul Tyler (far right)

New e-commerce platform

During his speech, the Chairman, who also owns and runs independent retail chain, Stellisons, also announced the buying group’s new e-commerce platform will launch in April next year.

It’s called Euronics Evolution and he said it will “lead the way in an online offering” that will not only give “national visibility” to its products but will also include further stock that retailers can buy direct.

“The initial launch will be a few thousand extra products on the site,” Mr Scogings explained. “This will utilise the 600+ stores we have across the country to give the consumer a wider choice and the bonus of dealing with a local company.”

He said the plan is to grow this business to rival the major online players over the next three years to cement the group’s place as the best omnichannel offering in the market.

Reflecting on the year, Mr Scogings spoke about the move to CIH’s new distribution facility in Tankersley where it hopes to become self-sufficient by generating its own solar power, plus it has introduced all-new electric fork-lift trucks.

He also mentioned the new categories for the business, including IT and E-mobility, with plans to grow these further next year.

Taking a fresh look

Mr Scogings (left) spoke of “taking a fresh look” at how Euronics engages with its members to grow even further… “We are here for the long term and not just to rest on our laurels,” he said, adding about the challenges of manufacturers selling direct to consumers…

“As independents we are the experts in managing consumer issues and we also deliver and install better than any third-party – 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.”

Mr Scogings – who also announced he was voted to remain in post as Chairman for a further two years – concluded saying he hopes everyone can work together “to confront this challenge” and find a solution to help everyone achieve growth.

“You do not need to do direct-to-consumer to have a strong brand, and if you are willing to work with us, we can prove it,” he said.