Vax and Connect Distribution: A collaborative approach

Connect Distribution has officially partnered with Vax to bridge the gap between manufacturer and independent retailers. The company said this is part of its role as a distributor for small domestic appliances to the independent market.

Founded in 1977, Vax specialises in the design and manufacture of specialist floorcare products – from carpet washers (where Vax’s journey began) to cordless and corded vacuums and steam cleaners.

As part of a corporate strategy to maintain its market position, Vax has partnered with Connect Distribution to manage its independent retail route to market. With more than half a century of expertise – both with manufacturers and ‘indies’ – Connect Distribution has been deemed the perfect partner.

“Our primary responsibilities as sole distributor for small domestic appliances to the independent market are to build strong relationships with indies and manage stock levels,” explained Carl Bould, Head of B2B Sales at Connect Distribution. “A thriving part of the electrical goods market (worth an estimated £6.3bn), this crucial, yet complex channel sees us manage thousands of indie relationships – on behalf of Vax – on a daily basis.

“With a highly respected brand and premium product range, it’s essential that we don’t just supply product, but deliver what the end customer demands. A ‘stack it high, sell it cheap’ mentality would significantly conflict with key brand values and disenfranchise prospect customers. As such, it’s a highly specialised task – strategic collaboration, not simply distribution.”

A key part of the relationship sees Connect Distribution provide Vax with real-time insight into independent market trends, evolving customer requirements and detailed feedback on receptiveness to a wide range of product lines.

Mr Bould continued: “Many distributors wouldn’t consider this approach, but we aim to deliver added value by thinking differently.

“For example, rather than simply keeping track of stock, we analyse which lines are selling most effectively, which product qualities are most desirable and which locations are seeing the highest demand. Rather than simply pushing the latest models, this allows us to tailor supply levels and shelf space to suit consumer demand and thus drive the best possible commercial results.”

In addition to delivering this consultative approach to the manufacturer, Connect Distribution also works closely with its independent partners to provide guidance and support to maximise store footfall. This includes analysing demographic and geographic trends to deliver a bespoke, high-demand stock portfolio.

“With significant experience in the independent electrical retail market, our knowledge and understanding can prove valuable to the indies too,” added Mr Bould. “We share customer insight and market analysis to ensure indies only stock the most relevant product lines and delight customers; rather than simply selling to them.”

Rather than delivering a traditional wholesale agreement, Connect Distribution said it has become a highly valued part of the Vax journey. Both parties are looking forward to an increasingly close collaboration moving forward that creates opportunities for their valued independent partners.