Buying group CIH, part of Euronics, has reported that its retail members across the country are experiencing a boom in shoppers and business, following the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We’re delighted to report that CIH members up and down the UK are telling us the same positive story – safe, COVID-19 shopping environments, customers flooding into stores and big surges in sales of both brown and white goods,” said CIH’s chief executive, Stuart Cook.
“Many members did steady business online during the lockdown, adapting with click and collect and kerbside delivery innovations, but customers have missed the face-to-face shopping experience. All stores that have now reopened are being rewarded with loyal customers who are excited to see and touch real products, interact with knowledgeable staff and, ultimately, ready to buy.”
Lucy Schulz, owner of Cee-Jay, a CIH and Retra member, in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, said: “We’ve had the busiest two weeks in a long time. It is fantastic to feel the support from our local community. Familiar faces appreciating our advice and service makes all the hard work in ensuring the store is COVID-safe worth it.”
She added: “Euronics has been incredibly supportive, providing us with both advice and PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff and customers to ensure the store is a safe shopping experience for all. It’s so good to be back.”
CIH and Retra member Sound & Vision Electronics, in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year, also had positive news to report, including its best ever trading day.
Partner Amanda Gray said: “Before we reopened, we managed with telesales and processed Euronics web orders, which allowed us to provide a service for our community from behind closed doors, many of which are elderly or shielding.
“The best part of this awful experience has been welcoming back our customers. Their loyalty and support has demonstrated the need for our services. We missed them and they missed us. We experienced the best day’s retail trading in 50 years, which was comforting, as we had no idea what to expect.
“We hope it continues and that we can soon welcome back the rest of the team over the coming weeks with continued good business. We were supported behind the scenes by our Euronics family – we were all in this together.”
Ian Cooper, owner of Cooper & Elms, a CIH and Retra member in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, commented: “We were grateful for the support from the local community throughout lockdown. We kept a skeleton staff busy through telephone and internet sales, but it was great to reopen the store.
“We had an excellent first day of trading and the high volume of sales continued through the week. This demonstrates how much the independent electrical retailer is still needed and desired on the high street.
“Customers are clearly as pleased to see us and our products as we were to see them. Membership of Euronics has really shown its strength during the pandemic, not only from head office with the buying, marketing materials, PPE kits and regular updates from the management team, but also between members who pulled together to help and support each other. It was truly reassuring to know that we had the whole Euronics group behind us.'”
CIH supported its members to get up and running as quickly and safely as possible after the lockdown. Members have been supplied with PPE equipment together with the practical information, advice and additional services that they need to get operational and COVID-19-secure for the benefit of their customers and to protect the health and welfare of their own employees.