A pre-event chat with Gem's UK general manager, Darren Houghton...

PCR Boot Camp Partner Spotlight: Gem

Gem’s UK general manager, Darren Houghton, talks about the value of diversity in a changing and challenging marketplace and shows how Gem can help your business grow…

How important is it to connect with customers?

Connecting with customers and understanding their buying behaviour enables the retailer and reseller to carefully target the products they stock and the way they are sold in store. The way product is displayed assists with the decision making process and positively affects sell through.

Gem has seen a significant increase in the number of retailers working with its creative team to enhance the presentation of products utilising effective point of sale material, shelf arrangements and enhanced web content.

What do you see being the key issues facing PC retailers in 2013?

Economic conditions is the main obstacle but the increasing consumer move to digital content is clearly the biggest long-term challenge.

However we also recognise the enormous opportunity as the PC channel diversifies and consumers become more technically aware, demanding value for money and choice. These changing times will open up many growth areas in the PC hardware and software categories as well as distribution but will require new and different skill sets and expertise.

What products/services will you be promoting at the event this year?

This year’s event will be focused around showcasing the diversity of the products available from Gem. Gem has a solid reputation in the games industry but it’s essential for us to educate our customers on the other categories we supply – as well as the support available as a distributor, not only of logistics but in-store creativity and digital services.

The Gem stand will host a number of excellent brands such as Roku, the UK’s fastest growing streaming device, and recently signed OTONE Audio – manufacturers of impressive speakers that some people may recognise from The Gadget Show.

What should retailers look out for on your stand?

Not only will the Gem stand provide retailers with an opportunity to get hands on with the products on show but also engage with some of our staff and see some of the in-store POS displays designed by our Creative team. The added value services we offer are outstanding and can really enhance the consumer experience. Connecting with the customer is essential if retailers are to grow in today’s economic climate and we’re here to help.

What are the key brands you carry?

We have over 90 brands in our remit and we work exclusively with Damson, Roku, Take Two, Tely Labs, Ubisoft, Microsoft Xbox and SOL Republic.

What distinguishes you from your competitors?

Over the past three decades, Gem has built loyal relationships with the industry’s largest retailers who understand our commitment to delivering range solutions and new products to meet the demands of the consumer.

Over the years Gem’s business model has evolved to better service the needs of the channel: adding a creative agency, logistics and digital solutions provider to the enterprise. By introducing these additional resources, our partners have access to an end-to-end retail service portfolio, from range selection right through to in-store theatrics.

What are you looking forward to at Boot Camp?

The event provides an excellent forum for meeting with customers face to face and hearing the challenges our partners face. Very aptly, the theme this year is ‘Connecting with Customers’ and we plan to do just that.

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