Innovate and demonstrate

Jaleno Europe managing director Jamie Lennox discusses how demonstrations and in-store displays are vital if retailers are to cash in on the buoyant small domestic appliance category

I have always been a great believer in the UK’s retail sector and I want to work with retailers that are interested in selling, and demonstrating, products that are truly innovative.

My company, Jaleno Europe, is the exclusive distributor for the Light ‘n’ Easy range of floor cleaners. At the end of September, we partnered with independent department store chain Fenwick at its flagship store on Northumberland Street, Newcastle.

Working with the buyer at Fenwick was straightforward and the retailer gave the Light ‘n’ Easy range a premium position at the front of the electrical department, around such names as Dyson and Miele.

The key to selling SDA and floorcare is to create theatre in-store, which does not have to cost a lot of money. You can create theatre for all electrical products from floor sanitisers to innovative ironing products. Believe me, it is worth the effort.

In my career, I have worked on both sides of the fence, so I am well aware of the challenges that retailers face. The importance of in-store displays and demonstration must not be underestimated.

VacuumsFenwick was an ideal launch partner as its stores look good, its sales staff are professional and the retailer does not shy away from demonstrating products.

Fenwick was the first retailer with the new Light ‘n’ Easy range and it has taken the whole range of six products plus accessories, all of which are being demonstrated in-store.

My company’s range of products – Jaleno Europe distributes a number of brands including Ariete, BEEM, Light ‘n’ Easy and Roadstar – are highly demonstrable and as I have said many times before, demonstrations sell products!

Traditionally, small domestic appliances have been the second-class citizens of the electrical industry, a product category that nobody seemed to think important, but that perception has changed in recent times. The supermarkets did their best to destroy this market, just like they have done with many categories.

The SDA category is not like the major brown-goods or major white-goods sectors, which tend to be considered purchases rather than impulse purchases – mainly because of the price of the products involved.

For me, the key words are ‘innovation’ and ‘demonstration’. By demonstrating innovative features, independent electrical retailers, cook shops and hardware stores have the ability to convince the consumer to purchase the product.

I have proved in the past that physical demonstration or video demonstration can increase in-store sales by up to 400 per cent

There are many opportunities to be had in the small domestic appliance category and I look forward to working with retailers across the country, who value the importance of in-store and demonstration.

I’ve visited several independent retailers throughout the country lately and it’s great to see the superb displays and the investment that many independents have made over recent years. Unfortunately, those displays don’t always include SDA and floorcare products.

Before Christmas, the national media covered stories about how Amazon and Argos were going to go head-to-head with same-day delivery.

But I’ve had a novel idea… if consumers want to have the products they purchase on the same day they order them, why don’t they go down to their local town centre, walk into the store, hand over their payment, and take the product home?

Are all our lives really so difficult and hectic that we don’t have time to go to a shop and look and touch the product we want to buy, then actually buy it?

The world has gone mad!