Welcome to Influencers, our annual series that speaks with the heads of retailers, suppliers and industry bodies to find out what is happening in appliances and electronics and how different companies are shaping its future.
Today we visit with Graeme Cunningham, CEO of Betta Home Living. He reports that new products in the market are helping the overall industry to attract discretionary spending away from other markets.
How has the first half of 2014 been for your organisation?
We have had a steady start to the year with Q1 sales slightly ahead of last year. April sales were flat but we have seen good results in May, putting us ahead of last year. We are seeing the benefits of having a consistent brand offer in the market place and will continue to build on this.
What are you predictions for the second half of the year?
We remain positive for the remainder of the year despite the recent budget negativity. With housing approvals still tracking up, our own increased marketing activities, as well as the World cup, we are forecasting a solid result for the year. There are few new categories we will focus on that we believe will improve our overall performance this year.
What opportunities do you see for the electrical retailing industry?
We are seeing the demand for more premium products increasing in a few areas; refrigeration, laundry and TVs being the main ones. This is helping the ASP increase in a few sub-categories. Many of our supplier partners have released, and are releasing, innovative new products, which is helping to drive demand. By actively promoting these exciting new products we have a great opportunity as an industry to attract the consumer spend.
What threats are currently present in the industry?
I think the industry may be competing for a smaller consumer discretionary spend overall, so as an industry we need to ensure we are showcasing and promoting the latest products across all categories. In particular, we have some really exciting technology products coming through which will help all electrical retailers. We are still seeing some categories declining in the industry so the challenge is to maintain revenue as a business. New products and strong marketing campaigns can help achieve this.
What’s your favourite product of 2014 so far?
I don’t really have a favourite as such, but I am impressed with the design and styling of the new high-end refrigeration products we are seeing.
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