Earlier this month Dan Brown & Rob Greenlees sat down to answer some questions on Mitchell & Brown and the future of the brand.
Q: So tell us about some of your latest products?
Dan Brown: We’ve always had a good range of products at a good quality standard, but this year we decided to go a step further when we introduced the KBL range; available in 43, 50 and 55-inch screen sizes, with its ultra-modern design, super-slim bezel surround and the chrome finish, the TV looks absolutely stunning.
The crisp, Ultra HD screens use the latest Dolby HDR LED technology that will smoothly upscale even standard definition sources to make the most of its 4K resolution screen. And there’s Freeview HD and a host of Wi-Fi connected services, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Freeview Play, YouTube and Alexa voice control.
Not only this, but the 50 and 55-inch versions are backed by a premium sound system with a built-in subwoofer, which offers deeper bass and it sounds fantastic. Everyone has been so impressed with this addition.
For those with slightly smaller spaces, we also offer a selection of smaller screen TVs for stand or wall-mounting, coming with Freeview HD and also with and without built-in DVD players.
We are really happy with this year’s range and we’re really proud of it. We listen to our customers all the time to hear their comments and ideas, and we took these on board with this latest range.
But of course it doesn’t stop there, we are always looking to improve; since we started five years ago we can see how our ranges have developed so much over that time.
Rob Greenlees: Technology is moving at a very fast pace. Granted, our current smart platform is missing one or two apps; for example a few customers have said they would like access to Disney +.
But with the might of Vestel behind us we are lucky to have a very big R&D department constantly working in the background on the next generation of technology. So with the next batch of KBL TVs we are moving over to Android and we’ll be right up there with other manufacturers in terms of the user interface and whole TV platform.
Q: What makes you guys stand out?
DB: The British theme of the company is very important to us. We’ve got the same ethos and brand values that so many independent retailers have built their businesses on.
I believe we are the only manufacturer that has a product range like ours; I do think we have everything that any customer could possibly want.
RG: The ‘Best of British’ theme has definitely tied in nicely with Brexit, but also a general feeling of positivity again, which I think we all need, like the EUROs and the Olympics. We are proud to be British and lots of other brands are starting to shout about the British theme so I think these values are coming back.
Not to mention our impressive seven-year warranty that comes as standard across our entire range. And our customer service is excellent – we pride ourselves on that. We’ve always got people on the other end of the phone for general enquiries, but for anything more specific our doors are always open and Dan and I are always on-hand. Other manufacturers don’t have that kind of approach.
DB: We have always believed that people buy from people and that’s a really big thing for us. It’s been difficult for everyone over the last 18 months but now luckily we are seeing a positive change in shopping trends.
We’ve also got the Big Red Sales agency on board and they’ve got reps all over the UK visiting dealers; they enjoy seeing somebody face-to-face and I think we all know what that feels like after being stuck in lockdown!
We come from an independent retail background so we understand where our dealers are coming from, but this also helps us know what they need.
Q: How are you growing your share in the TV market?
DB: We are really getting our name out in front of so many consumers these days, and we are growing year-on-year. We started off very steadily to see how the brand would be perceived in the market; we had really great feedback so we invested more in the website and in our marketing as well as new products of course.
The indie retail channel is so crucial for us. The indies have got the knowledge and the passion –just like us. Their customers expect in-store demonstration and honest, friendly face-to-face advice… which is never lacking from our dealers. It is their business at the end of the day and the service they give is absolutely second-to-none.
RG: We wanted longevity for our brand. We don’t sell our products via the big national retailers because we understand how independent retailers work and in turn they all support us. They get a really decent margin selling our TVs and they buy in to the whole British brand storyline, which is brilliant. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
Mitchell and Brown offers something different for the consumer to consider to give them an informed choice when it comes to TVs – and more and more people are tending to lean towards us these days.
Q: How do you see the retail industry transforming?
DB: Looking at the figures to date, spending hasn’t yet come down since stores reopened and I think everyone has definitely enjoyed being out and about. People have spent a lot of money in the last 18 months on various different items, but we’ve got to be realistic as well – I think sales will level off at some point.
Q: Let’s talk about some of your upcoming products…
DB: We’ve got the Android platform on the KBL range coming soon; we’re also hoping to roll that out through the full range before Christmas – but we’ll have to see!
We are also looking at a big range revamp from April next year so soon we’ll begin to look at new designs and new ideas for 2022.
I think we’ll need to consider new avenues in the coming years as well, like OLED, which is really driving the television market forward so we’ll need to offer this technology in order to keep up with consumer demand. That said, we need to feel confident bringing in OLED that the interest is there among our customer base.
Q: What about your plans for the company going forward?
DB: We’ve got various divisions within the TVD business and we are in the process of building a state-of-the-art showroom at our Bolton HQ to give our customers a preview of all our latest technology. We were hoping to start this project over a year ago, but it didn’t happen due to COVID, so hopefully we can get this done in the next six months.
It’ll be an experience showroom with plenty of products on display, also with a shop window display area so we can demonstrate the creativity that retailers can try in their own windows. We are hoping that every visitor will be inspired and will take something away with them.