CIH suppliers’ Christmas lunch

Yesterday, Combined Independents (Holdings) Ltd (CIH), the electrical buying group, part of Euronics, held its suppliers’ Christmas lunch at The Dorchester hotel in London.

New CIH Chairman, Steve Scogings (pictured), took to the stage to represent the board of directors and spoke about the changes that have taken place within the last year, and also what else is on the horizon.

“CIH has undergone a major change in the past two years with the implementation of a brand-new SAP System and the launch of our new online platform,” he began. “Both of these vital additions have given us the foundation to build our future business on. We have many changes happening over the coming months, including the rebranding of Euronics, the advancement of our new-look website and the full launch of our new associate membership. All three will hopefully increase our awareness to the consumer as well as strengthening our business with new associate members.

“I would also like to thank my fellow board directors for their input into what has been a complex project and, those same directors, for the due diligence that they all show in the advancement of the company; giving up valuable time from their own businesses for the benefit of every single member.”

Mr Scogings also spoke about CIH’s continued relationship with Euronics International. He informed attendees that he had already attended his first international board meeting and that Hans Carpels and his team would be visiting next week to discuss how the UK can show its commitment to the group when the government is looking at pulling out of the EU.

The biggest thank you from Mr Scogings went to the CIH suppliers. “Over the coming years it is my ambition to make CIH members’ the best retailers in the electrical industry,” he said. “That will mean engaging with you and creating a mutually beneficial relationship for both of us. For too long we have both been reducing our margins and haemorrhaging profits for the sake of the consumer. This has to stop if we want to have a sustainable business moving forward. I would like to engage with you all more, to make this a reality.

“I will endeavour to reduce the cost-to-serve of our business, so that every member and supplier will feel the benefit in their bottom line. I hope you will all see that CIH is looking to the future with optimism and a belief that if we all work together, we can improve both our business profitability as well as our trading relationship.”

At the event, the CIH directors were dressed in appropriately-themed Christmas shirts. This was in order to raise money for charity, which this year is Family Fund, an organisation that CIH has a relationship with.

At this point at the event, Mr Scogings presented some awards, which included ‘Supporter of the Independents’, which was given to LG Brown Goods. Mr Scogings noted: “We believe that this company has really stood up to the challenging market conditions and given the members some much needed stability and more importantly margin.”

The Supplier of the Year award went to Blomberg. “With sustained growth and a fantastic margin this brand has really delivered to the members,” he added.