Sirius Buying Group, a major buying group of electrical appliance and kitchen retail solutions, has announced its plans for supporting independent retailers as the COVID19 pandemic continues.
In a statement issued to the press, the buying group said that the coming months are not going to be easy, and it is ‘essential’ that, industry-wide, all to do whatever is realistically possible to help service those who need assistance.
The statement read: ‘It is concerning that independents will be especially vulnerable during this time, and Sirius Buying Group urge its suppliers to look at plans to support the retailer where practically possible.’
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Steve Jones, Commercial Director, Sirius Buying Group, commented, ‘Since our attendance at KBB Birmingham, we have seen further significant developments in the COVID19 situation. As retailers up and down the country have closed their doors, we are seeing a surge in online retail as the population is heeding the message to ‘Stay at home’ which is a threat for retailers that lack a good online presence.”
‘All independents have extensive customer databases, which they have built up over the years and now is the time to be using it to full advantage. We don’t know exactly what further parameters are going to be put in place or when they may be applied, which is why each business has a personal decision to make: whether they want to or even can/have the staff willing to still make deliveries to customers and provide service calls. Many of our members in the position to, have decided to continue delivering to the elderly and NHS or support workers where it’s safe to do so. Either way, clear and safe guidelines must be in place to protect all involved. Some suppliers provide a drop-ship service, so I suggest retailers consider taking advantage of that if not already. We know that independent retailers are brilliant at providing support to their local communities, so make sure you are using social media to reach out to customers and remind them of your retail offering when you can.”
‘Cash flow can be tricky at this time of year, and we are keeping a close eye on measures being put in place by the Government to support businesses and we will be keeping our members up to date,’ said Jones. ‘Whilst many of our members will be and are concerned, especially in relation to cashflow, we want them to know the group is working hard to weather this crisis and our latest objective is to strive for early release of our annual rebate payments, so we can contribute to our members working capital when they need it most.’