Members of the Radius buying group were described as ‘forward thinking entrepreneurs’ at the association’s recent annual conference in Birmingham.
At the largest Radius conference to date, with almost 100% of the membership in attendance, Radius director Mark Pugh said: “In a difficult and highly aggressive marketplace, members are here today because there is a motivation to embrace the challenges of CE retailing and maximise opportunities. They appreciate the need to adapt and modify their businesses to be stronger in future. Radius members are without doubt forward thinking entrepreneurs, and Radius is here to facilitate their success.”
“I am delighted to report that Radius has continued to expand despite a background of continued independent closures, and it gives me particular pleasure to welcome several new younger highly switched-on and motivated retailers into the fold,” he added.
Earlier in the day members heard presentations from major suppliers including representatives from LG and Samsung.
Delegates also heard from Gfk’s Nick Simon who gave them a comprehensive view of the highs and lows of the year with statistics covering all areas of the marketplace.
The conference concluded on a very positive note from keynote speaker, Adam Williams of home automation products supplier Lightwave.
He told Radius members: “One in 10 of your customers is already doing something Smart in their homes, most probably via their Smartphones. And the forecast is that 30% will buy Smart Home devices this year with an average anticipated spend of £300.”
However, research showed 50% of consumers did not know what to buy. They needed help to understand exactly what smart appliances could do for them.
Adam noted: “You are close to your customers and you know them better than anyone else and they trust you. If you go into their homes you can advise them on what products to put together. And providing installation is what you do better than anyone else.
“I passionately believe there is a very important role for you here. More than half of consumers don’t understand enough to buy. They want to understand but they need your help. Your expertise with the customer is gold dust.”