Each Friday, Furniture News puts five questions to a selected industry professional to explore their background and approach to business. Today, it's the turn of Martyn Lincoln, MD of Gautier UK …
How did you get into the trade?
I left the police in 1981 and was given the opportunity by John Arnold and Dane Baskerville to become a representative for Parker Knoll. They focused on the people skills and no sales experience, and for that I will always be grateful to them. I love the industry as much now as I grew to then.
What was the turning point in your career?
Being given the opportunity to lead a division of a company, and combine sales experience with marketing and production teams to really move the company forward.
How will the industry evolve?
Multi-channel routes to market will be the big challenge for a few years as some retailers and manufacturers have yet to embrace it – or, in some cases, understand it. Product-wise, good design with a more environmental approach to manufacture will be a good base to build on.
How can retailers increase sales and profitability?
Sell the benefits of the service they give, and also their own offering as a business. Even now, discounts aren’t everything, and the consumer is savvy now, and sees through that policy more and more.
What brings a smile to your face in this industry?
Someone once said this is a multi-billion pound industry run by enthusiastic amateurs, and in the main that has been true for many years. That always made me smile when I heard that. There are still characters you meet that make you smile, and hopefully they will still be around making us smile in years to come. There is, in the main, a friendly rivalry between companies, and not many industries can say that …
This is an extract from an article published previously in Furniture News magazine. For more stories like this, you can subscribe to receive a regular physical copy of the magazine, or sign up to have a free digital issue delivered to your inbox each month.