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Published on December 7th, 2017 | by The GC Team

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Black Friday: Good turnover, no margin, says CIH Chairman

CIH Chairman Robin Millwood has, unsurprisingly, claimed that Black Friday – or “Black November” as he labelled it – led to good turnover but no margin for retailers.  

Millwood was speaking at the buying group’s annual suppliers’ lunch, at which he also commented on the many sales brought forward, which makes the run up to Christmas even more disappointing for retailers.

“This all appears to be the tail wagging the dog,” he said, “so do we really want it or need it, as from reports coming in, most of the turnover was online, which is where currently many of our members do not want to be due to the low margins and poor PPS buying prices.”

Millwood also noted that 2017 had turned out to be a very strange year: “Because as I stood here a year ago we had already seen some price rises following Brexit, with a strict warning of more to follow during the year. This has turned out to be true, but to the detriment to our industry there appears to have been very little follow-through at the retail end.

“With a market that has been falling all year, many retailers if anything are selling cheaper now than last year, but this has not stemmed the fall. In some areas the market is down 13% to 15%.  But with an average fall of approximately 8% to 9%, I am glad to report that CIH/Euronics is holding its own and is ahead of the game.

“Hopefully in 2018 with more price rises to come, assuming retail prices increase, we will all be in a better position.  But pressure needs to be put on the retail sector to reflect this and maybe we will all make a bit more margin to reinvest into our shops and future.”

The Chairman drew attention to the multi-million pound investment announced last year, the first fruits of which, he said, was a new distribution hub in Preston, opened in April, which services all members north of Birmingham. “This has released more capacity so we can now offer three deliveries per week to most members across the UK and at the same time this has made the warehouses more efficient.”

Millwood also touched on the integration of CIH’s business processes: “Currently we are seven months in to our SAP/website upgrade and re-implementation, where we will transfer on to the latest SAP platform on which will sit our new B2B and B2C website – this should all go live in June 2018.”

2018 will also see the launch of a new Euronics International Logo and branding, and the Showcase/Conference, which the buying group is proposing to hold in September.  

“From all of the above you can see we are not standing on our laurels,” said Millwood, “but something that is a concern is falling membership and, in the past, we have not been an easy group to join.

“This will all change from January where we will be launching an Associate Membership, where retailers can join us without the restrictions of the past.“

CIH also used the supplier’s lunch to present two awards: The Supporter of the Independent, which went to Sony, and The Euronics supplier of the Year, presented to Dyson.

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