ERT Shopfloor Profile: Stuart Westmoreland
5 months ago
Retail store Stuart Westmoreland started stocking Mitchell & Brown TVs a year ago, and sales of the British-branded TVs have exceeded expectations in that time, as Director Richard Westmoreland explains in this article.
It is very easy to forget that the television was a British invention. In fact, if you asked consumers – from millennials to middle-aged – they would probably think it was invented in the Far East. And not by Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird, who devised this amazing creation while walking the hills outside Hastings where he lived.
So it’s interesting to learn how British TV company Mitchell & Brown is growing its share in this highly competitive marketplace. Granted, its LED TVs are manufactured in Europe but everything else right through from product specification to design originates here in the UK.
And the company’s faith in its product is underlined by an industry-leading seven-year warranty. Another interesting fact is that Mitchell & Brown, one of the newest TV brands in the market place, was born four years ago from 23 years of retailing experience through its umbrella company, TV & Video Direct, in Bolton.
It is no wonder, then, that the manufacturer is very popular with dealers. In fact, it now has over 200 retailers selling its products and enjoying good profit margins.
Massive sales increase
One such retailer is Richard Westmoreland of Stuart Westmoreland in Loughborough and Melton Mowbray.
Mr Westmoreland was introduced to the brand a year ago by nationwide sales company, Big Red Sales, which absorbed the brand into its portfolio back in 2018.
He reports that he has seen sales of Mitchell & Brown televisions increase “massively” in the past 12 months.
He says: “It’s a brand that has really filled the large hole left vacant by the big players in the market who dropped out of selling smaller screen TVs.
And last but not least it provides good margins.” And if you think a relatively unknown name would deter consumers, think again! As Mr Westmoreland explains: “The seven-year guarantee is a big pull, that’s for sure. It breeds immense confidence in the brand. After all, any manufacturer that is prepared to put its name on the line with a guarantee like this certainly resonates well with the consumer.”
Big on British
Being a British firm is something Mitchell & Brown really promotes and capitalises on – even to the point of including a large Union Jack flag on its packaging.
Continues Mr Westmoreland: “Consumers love the British design. Of course they appreciate the sets are manufactured abroad but they really like the fact that they are sold by a British company targeting a UK audience by including UK specifications.”
“Although Mitchell & Brown sell televisions up to 75-inch, it is the small to medium size screens that mainly attract the demographics of our customers.
“In the area my business covers the majority of consumers are living in smaller and more rural homes, which couldn’t take a screen of more than 50 inches, which is why the smaller TV sector accounts for about one third of my television business.”
Mr Westmoreland adds: “And of course the company’s servicing back-up – being UK based – is another big attraction.”
Says John Reddington, Founder of Big Red Sales, the nationwide sales company that first introduced Mr Westmoreland to the brand: “We have enjoyed great success with Mitchell & Brown since we took it on nearly three years ago. I believe that one of its key USPs is that being retailers themselves they value and listen to the opinion of other retailers when deciding upon their product line-up.”
A small world
We all know what a small world it is in our industry. So it is no surprise to discover that Graham Leach, the Big Red Sales agent servicing Mr Westmoreland’s business, actually worked for the retailer for more than 20 years before joining Panasonic. He then joined Big Red Sales earlier this year as Midlands Area Sales Manager.
Mr Leach picks up the story: “Having been on the retail side I appreciate how important it is to give the retailer face-to-face details regarding stock levels and frequent heads-up of what is in the pipeline in terms of promotions and new products etc.”
And we all appreciate how important stock control can be, especially this year, not least during the season when availability can sometimes be a huge problem. And a headache that can sometimes result in lost sales and profit. Mr Reddington continues: “In the current market it is a great tribute to Mitchell & Brown that it has achieved such success in a relatively short time. We are finding that many of our retailer customers are now concentrating their TV business on just two brands – one of which is Mitchell & Brown.”