PCR talks with Hama MD Nick Grey as the brand celebrates its ninetieth year in the consumer electronics market.
Can you give us a brief history of the brand?
Hama started back in 1923 and originally focussed on the manufacture of camera accessories. This then progressed to other areas of consumer electronic accessories and the company began to open subsidiaries around the world. Hama has since become the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronic accessories and has been in the UK since 1990.
Hama remains a family owned business. Do you believe this has had an effect on the brand’s growth?
The fact that Hama has gone from strength to strength over the last 90 years is testament to how the company is run and structured. There hasalways been a strong desire to succeed and although the business has seen considerable change over the years it still feels like a very close knit unit held together by a ‘can do’ attitude. Turnover of staff across the whole organisation is very low and there is a company-wide emphasis on teaching and learning across all departments.
You say the brand is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. What factors have made it successful for so long?
This is mainly due to constant innovation of products and their associated categories. There are over 100 product managers at Hama’s core, who source and review products, introduce new ideas and implement rolling changes at a rate of approximately 300 lines per month. This ensures our offering is constantly fresh and up to date, providing our dealers with the latest technologies and designs required by the consumer.
Whilst its roots are set within the photo and video accessories market, Hama has branched into the wider consumer electronics markets and product areas. Was this planned or more a natural progression?
It would be more of a ‘natural planned progression’ as a result of a number of factors. Hama started with Photo and Video then with that came Connectivity and Power and so on. The CE market is constantly evolving and there are elements that evolve along with it, such as our mobile phone accessories. Then there are also elements that are planned where the functionality isn’t directly related to that of the hardware.
“We pride ourselves on the strong relationships we have with a wide variety of retailers and we tend to have a very loyal customer base.”
Nick Grey, Hama
Consumer electronics is a highly contested market. How does Hama stay ahead of the competition?
At Hama we do our utmost to keep in touch with developments at all levels. We have researchers based in the Far East who are tasked with visiting fairs and factories throughout the year. We aim to offer the widest range of products and product categories possible, which provides our dealers with a one-stop solution. This is particularly important in the current economic climate when buyers are trying to reduce the number of suppliers they use and our versatility is just one of the many benefits of working with Hama.
How crucial is it to maintain relationships with retail and distribution partners, whilst developing new ones?
Relationships with our entire dealer base are key to our success. There would be little point in getting new dealers on board only to forget them moving forward. We pride ourselves on the strong relationships we have with a wide variety of retailers and we tend to have a very loyal customer base, which is a great achievement. We have two very strong sales teams, who are experienced in their fields, combined with an exceptional customer service team and we welcome all feedback from our dealers.
How should retailers and other interested parties get in touch?
Our sales admin and customer service teams are available on 0845 230 4262 and can arrange for one of our sales reps to call or visit where required. Alternatively we can be contacted by email through firstname.lastname@example.org. Our UK offices are in Basingstoke and we are more than happy to introduce new contacts to our product managers, marketing department and our extensive product ranges. Additionally we recently launched a new website and are in the final stages of testing our ecommerce site, which will allow our dealers to access their accounts and place orders directly if they so wish.