The Dealer of the Year (Rest of UK) award recognises the region’s top-performing mobility dealerships that have demonstrated commitment and innovation to drive their businesses, and the industry, forward, over what has been a challenging year.
We are delighted to announce that the 2018 shortlist includes the following dealers:
Easy Living Mobility
Implementing a store opening programme in recent months, Easy Living has introduced a new superstore and a prime corner unit to its portfolio. An important part of its growth has been Motability and it has been actively developing this channel to ensure its expansion is above all sustainable. This has meant investing in engineers and backup to ensure the hundreds of clients it has on the scheme are looked after. Identifying an exciting time for Easy Living, its bosses continue to locate prime sites and look for areas where there is a lack of equipment provision helping it to quickly become one of the dominant players in the UK.
As one of the most established operators in the market, Bush Healthcare has been working to expand its stake in the sector. Opening its first stores in England, the 10-strong firm targeted Hereford and Bristol for 2018, taking its business into new territory. But it has also been investing closer to home as it looks to capture more business in South Wales in the face or increasing competition. A new hearing aid department opened in one store with plans to roll the concept out while vehicle conversions are being experimented with at another site.
Investing in what some might have seen as a risky product, Eden made a splash recently with its Gatsby scooter which sold out in two months, once again proving its business nous. After 12 months of consolidation, Eden saw its turnover shoot to £11m last year, bringing it ever closer to becoming a national high street retailer. The company’s import strategy has placed it in a stronger position and the management team continues to successfully scale the business while ensuring its staff standards are maintained. Eden’s initiatives in the past year have seen it grow its customer base to more than 180,000 people.
Opening yet more stores in the last 12 months, CareCo’s e-commerce, bricks-and-mortar and equipment distribution operations have helped it to maintain its position as the vanguard of the mobility retail sector. In an effort to sustain its growing portfolio of outlets, CareCo embarked on a recruitment drive to attract high calibre staff to head up new stores and also invested in a quality control initiative. The new scheme sees an OT testing various products to ensure optimum quality and functionality in what is a vulnerable market. In this way, CareCo is looking to combine quality with discounted prices to increase its stake further.
At a time when bricks and mortar retailing has come under a lot of pressure, Ableworld has opened four new stores since last year, including its largest yet and expanded two others. This year, Ableworld has introduced over 100 new products into its range and has invested heavily in line plan software to make sure that stock is merchandised effectively, leading to more sales. Last year, all Ableworld stores were endorsed by the Which? Trusted Trader Scheme. Its like-for-like sales turnover has increased by 14% this year and turnover for the franchise group has risen 15%. On top of all this it has run a host of marketing and community initiatives.
The 2018 AMP Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 7 October, the first evening of the Trade Days show, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.