Booth Scotland flew down to attend the ERT Awards in London in October. It was well worth the journey – the retailer picked up the award for Best Independent CE Retailer! General Manager, Allan Will, tells ERT “we were very surprised and humbled – we were on a real high”.
Established in 1988 in the North East of Scotland, Booth Scotland is a family-run retailer specialising in the latest home technology, with everything from appliances through to integrated electrical goods such as A/V, home cinema, multi-room sound systems, bespoke lighting control and even infrared heating solutions.
Booth Scotland is a perfect example of a modern, forward-thinking electrical retailer; it has capitalised on the growing custom install market for the past 15 years and grown it to the extent that it now accounts for half of its turnover.
While it may be a small town, locals have their choice of electricals stores and Booth Scotland consistently puts up a fight to remain relevant and competitive in the area.
So much so, this Aberdeenshire independent stands out in the wider market and, as a result, was awarded Best Independent Consumer Electronics Retailer – Large at the ERT Awards 2019.
Director, Trevor Booth, and General Manager, Allan Will, were there to pick up the trophy. Speaking exclusively to ERT, Mr Will says: “We thoroughly enjoyed the day – it was brilliant!
“It was great to see everyone in the industry and it’s important that this event still continues to celebrate the best people and businesses in the industry – recognition is so important still.”
Mr Will also explains that he and Mr Booth were “very surprised and humbled” to pick up the award for CE Retailer, as they saw the quality of the retailers they were up against… “and we thought the standard in our category was so high we’ll never out-do them,” he jokes.
“But we were absolutely thrilled to win! We were on a real high. Myself and Trevor have been in the industry for a long time and we’ve been lucky enough to win an ERT award in the past too, but we never ever thought we would win in this category.
“It’s such a coveted award and we’re absolutely over the moon! To think that our business has reached this pinnacle is just phenomenal – it’s great for the whole business and everyone involved. We’re all very proud.”
Q: Why do you think your business won?
Allan Will: Possibly the judges felt we have always tried to develop our business into new areas such as smart home, CCTV and Wi-Fi distribution, all whilst trying to maintain the highest standards of traditional retailing within our showroom.
We’re in quite a unique location but we’re relatively well known in the wider industry, and it’s the quality of what you do that shines through and I guess the judges saw that in us.
Q: What makes you stand out in the CE market specifically, do you think?
AW: We’ve got very good displays in our store with lots of high-end televisions that are always clean, switched on and using manufacturer branding and POS. We’ve got a lot of space for customers to stand back and see the TVs working properly – you don’t feel cramped in the store. You can move around properly and appreciate these products from the right viewing distances, for example. And this is one of the things that sets us apart.
Not only that, but our staff are some of the best in the industry. They are a real credit to themselves and the business and they work hard every day; we have many long-serving employees throughout all our departments, this experience ensures work is completed efficiently in order to retain margin.
Any one of the staff that explains our televisions to customers has got a minimum of 15 years’ experience and no one really leaves our store without all the information they need.
Whether the customer ends up buying something from us or not, they should get the right, honest information on everything we sell; we advise our customers to gain their trust and confidence, as opposed to simply just pushing a sale.
Q: Following the ERT Awards in October, did you shout about winning your award?
AW: We did! We’ve promoted the award quite a bit. It gives us such a good feeling of good will from our customers – we don’t often hear from them
unless they’re in the store but when we posted online about winning this award and us collecting the trophy in London, we had so many messages of congratulations and support, it was great to see and really quite humbling.
People took the time to wish us well and this really authenticates what we do and how we do it. I could see the happiness in our staff as well, and I know they feel great about it. So I’m pleased for them too as it’s a team effort at the end of the day.
We’ve got the ERT Awards logo on our website and all over our advertising that goes out now – including a front page ‘splash’ on our latest leaflet; we feel it’s really important to shout about winning this award. Customers definitely have confidence shopping with an award-winning retailer.
We are also really driving the ‘shop local’ message this year, and it shows people that despite operating from a small market town, we’ve got a great store that’s been recognised at a national level and everyone should be encouraged to visit!