Rising to the challenge

Chairman of the Euronics buying group, Steve Scogings, speaks about his first year in the role, what the Group has achieved in this time and what the plans are for 2020.

Since being elected as the Euronics Chairman, over the past 12 months I can honestly say I have enjoyed immensely the challenges this job brings. The hours are long and the work, sometimes, thankless, but I gain a great sense of achievement out of it, so thank you for letting me do it.

It has been a busy year and I feel we have achieved a great deal so far, including: the highly successful overseas conference; a fantastic showcase at the NEC; our inaugural golf day; giving every member more of a say in their company with proportional representation at the Board; new Euronics fascia roll-out; brand sponsorship; and launching our very own extended warranty scheme in partnership with Retracare, called SmartCare.

All of this is only possible because I have the support of a truly dedicated board of directors; they continue to put in the hours, and they can rest assured I never forget how hard it is to balance their own business commitments with the needs of the Group’s.

The Andover staff have all risen to the challenges thrown at them as well. So a huge thank you to them for their tireless work in helping the Group continue to flourish in difficult trading conditions. Also, thank you to Andrew Thomas, my Vice Chairman, without whom I wouldn’t have a sounding board that tempers my enthusiasm and brings me back to reality and the real world.

Most importantly, a very heartfelt thank you to Stuart Cook, who has worked diligently this year in steering CIH towards an extremely bright future and helped bring the team all onboard for our joint vision of the company. Working closely together, along with Andrew, many a late night we have all been chatting about issues and formulating ideas and for this open and honest working relationship and I believe we have improved the business for both members and suppliers.

We are a year further down the line with our SAP integration and are continually improving this for the benefit of both our members and suppliers. We can now look forward to what we are planning for CIH. We have many new opportunities to benefit our members, who now begin to believe we can compete with the larger guys again and can take our channel forward.

Firstly, we are back on TV – we partnered with Nick Knowles in his first ever TV advert. We believe he is the right fit for how we want to portray the CIH/Euronics members in the UK. He loves to help people and bring local communities together. We are local shops who do just that – we help our local customers. The new TV advert aired on 25 December and is running throughout January.

Our whole marketing message will start to take shape with this advert, and we will go back to showing the consumer we are local family run businesses and here to help our local customers.

This is all being cemented with the launch of our new Euronics branded stores. With a fresh, new and modern Euronics logo and the local dealers name being more prominent to show the connection.

We are also hosting the Euronics international AGM in London this year and will hopefully prove that the UK still wants to be a major member of this fantastic buying group. Just because we may not be in Europe doesn’t mean we don’t want a close working relationship with our European friends.

Finally, we are now looking to move forward with the Euronics online offering. This is phase five of our SAP integration story and will focus on delivering major online growth for our members. We want to start to regain the business that we have lost to the internet traders, whilst still using our massive advantage of having stores in every corner of the country and on the islands too. This will include new in-store technology which will create a seamless integration between store and web and further enhance our reputation for leading the way in customer engagement.