Today we had a visit from our Business Development Manager Repton Bennett and his boss Steve Rowley UK Sales Director of Wedgwood. It is a long time since we have had a “Royal” visit from one of our traditional China and Glass suppliers.
In recent times we have reduced our reliance on Wedgwood China Tableware and when they went in to administration earlier this year we were pleased we did. In March KPS a New York based Private Equity company bought the Brands from the receiver.
Initially and inevitably sceptically we thought that this might be an exercise in buffing up the famous old brands to resell on at a profit as soon as they could.
This was just one of the issues I wanted to address with Steve and I am delighted to say that he felt that this was not the case and the input made to date by KPS was definitely about rebuilding the brands and making them once again desirable, aspirational and importantly relevant to today’s consumer.
Stock lines and ranges have been culled to a more manageable size where forecasting production can become more accurate and stock more readily available. Management restructuring means a streamlining of responsibility and a cohesiveness that will assist with a consistent marketing approach across the Group. No longer should Divisions be competing with each other, nor retailers against their supplier.
I came away from the meeting with a renewed vigour and anticipation. The Wedgwood product on our website has been neglected as uncertainty prevailed and compared to our other brands has returned us little.
We like working with companies that listen and want to work with us. Repton has gone away with a brief to come up with a website product proposal and the thoughts outlined in my Wedgwood Blog appear to be being addressed.
Steve was very honest and I am confident that he and the Management team can turn around the fortunes of one of our most loved and enduring brands. Time will tell but there is now a renewed enthusiasm for us all to give it a good go.