The July-August issue of ERT is out now!

You can view the July/August digital issue of ERT here.

Editor’s comment:

Well, here we are again. Retail stores have re-opened and there have been positive reports of consumers practically falling through the doors to spend their money on gadgets and appliances.

I suppose it’s that sense of normality that everyone was longing for during the months of lockdown. Leaving home and seeing people other than those you lived with was a real treat! Now though, we can’t just simply pop in to any shop; instead, we have to go armed with PPE and accept that there may be a queue to get in.

No wonder electrical retailers, big and small, reported of huge growth online! If trends in recent months have taught us anything, it’s that consumers might not necessarily stop spending altogether, but they’ll find alternative ways to spend. So websites have to be attractive, functional and efficient in order to (hopefully) deal with increased demand.

I wrote in the April issue of ERT that we don’t know what the future holds. And that remains true now. Back then, non-essential retail shops had just been ordered to close. No one knew how long for. The damage this caused to businesses still remains to be seen in some areas. Stores may be open but what happens when things calm down again?

Many retailers are already introducing new concepts to accommodate the “new normal” for consumers. Live video shopping is one idea. And it’s changes like these that encourage positivity in the retail market – moving with the times in order to ensure future business success. Whether your ideas work or they don’t, trying something different is worth a go; indeed, these are very different times and standing still could be fatal.

And (as if I was building up to this neat and succinct segue into my final point), talking of change, you would have seen the announcement on page 5 about this year’s ERT Awards. Entries are still open, so there’s time to get involved! The event itself will take place slightly later, and via a virtual format, but we will still be recognising excellence across the electrical retail industry. At this current time, I think it’s important to focus on some good news and look to the future!

Also in this issue, I sat down with John Elliott MBE, who is the Founder of the British manufacturing company, Ebac. He may seem familiar – John is very well known for being involved in various political action groups over the years and he’s no stranger to being interviewed and airing his views in the media.

Certainly not one to mince his words, the outspoken millionaire businessman shared his thoughts on how the country is being run (this was before the Coronavirus pandemic) and how companies like his could thrive if the economy was geared slightly more towards British talent. “If the UK was a business it would be bankrupt,” he said.

In this candid interview – which you can read from page 14 this month – John told me all about his career and the history of his business and where it is today, taking on the competitive washing machine market. Ebac is investing more to ramp up production but it is also looking for new retail partners to get behind this British brand.

John believes there’s greater interest these days in home-grown businesses and goods that are produced in the UK, adding that it’s “disgraceful” that other companies simply aim to meet industry test and review standards.

It was truly fascinating to hear about John’s work and all the things he’s done over the years; after the interview I realised I could probably produce nearly a whole magazine with just his comments!

Jack Cheeseman – Editor –

You can view the July/August digital issue of ERT here.