Housewares sales agent Carole Michie has launched her own Scottish showroom, based at Stirling Enterprise Park, to cater for the needs of her Scottish and Northern independent retailer customers.
Carole represents suppliers including Forma House, ICTC, Menu and Montsoreau (with its Loveramics, Simply Tabletop & modern twist brands) and and J-me.
She said: “The showroom has only been open a couple of weeks and already I’ve had buyers travelling over 100 miles to see me, which is fantastic. The support has been amazing.”
She explained the inspiration behind the venture: “Getting from one appointment to another, with the right mix of samples relevant to the individual buyer, is a constant headache for any sales agent. A cookshop buyer often has a different set of requirements to, say, a gift shop owner – and therein lies the problem.”
It was the “constant frustration” of arriving at appointments without being able to fit all the necessary products in her car boot, that led Carole to come up with her solution of a “almost a mini trade show”, exclusively for her customers.
She recalls: “The idea came to me on a visit to one of my customers. When they told me it was really frustrating not being able to see everything my principals offered, I realised this showroom [concept] was fate! Why only show 70% of the product mix in-store when 100% could be presented in a showroom? I decided to sound out a few buyers and the reaction was fantastic.”
Forma House business development manager Simon Maghnagi said: “We are so pleased to be assisting Carole with this exciting new venture in Scotland – the only one of its kind that we’ve come across. More importantly, retailers are really getting behind this showroom and supporting her work which can only be a good thing for everyone across the industry. We believe this project will be a blueprint for inspiring other sales agents in the future.”
Carole has been working as an independent sales agent since January 2009, having previously worked as a sales representative across the Scottish territory for a range of housewares brands.
Carole can be contacted on 07739 864010 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.