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 speak to Peter Breen, General Manager – Sales at Sampford IXL, distributor of Gaggenau, Neff and IXL. Breen says suppliers must always be looking to improve their offer to retailers and consumers.

Low margins are a threat: Peter Breen.
Low margins are a threat: Peter Breen.

How has the first half of 2014 been for your business?

We have met our business expectations to start 2014 by a having a clear focus on very strong retail promotions that are simple and add value, a consistent approach to product training and a dedicated field sales team committed to growing our retail business. We have been selective in our channels to market, which has allowed us to continue to build strong partner relationships.

What are your predictions for the second half of the year?

In light of the current economic environment I believe consumers will remain conservative in their spending throughout the rest of 2014, so adding value in the way we go to market will be a continued direction for us.

What opportunities do you see for the electrical retailing industry?

As a supplier, it’s about constantly looking to improve our overall offer to our retail partners and end-user in terms of product, promotions, training, people, customer service and, most importantly listening, to the customer.

In turn, our expectation is the growth of our business. Cooking has created huge consumer interest for the some time now and more customers are attending demonstrations to make their purchase decision, so it is important we provide an experience that meets their expectations.

What threats are currently present in the industry?

Low margins.

What is your favourite product of 2014 so far?

Definitely the new Gaggenau Series 200 flush fit oven range in metallic or anthracite finish. Without compromising on the traditional build or craftsmanship, the new look has delivered a simply stunning product range of appliances.

Gaggenau 200 Series.
Gaggenau 200 Series.

To read the full series right now, pick up the July issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.