Emma – The Sleep Company has appointed Neil Robinson (pictured) as its new sales director, UK & Ireland. The well-known industry figure will primarily focus on expanding and strengthening Emma’s retail store presence, officially starting on 2nd January 2021.
Before joining Emma, Neil worked for over 14 years as sales & marketing director for Sealy UK, and was a key member of the team that drove the business to over £45m turnover.
He oversaw many of Sealy’s key product initiatives, including the launches of Sealy Hybrid and Activsleep. As a consultant, Neil recently managed the successful UK market launch of Ergomotion, the largest adjustable bed base manufacturer in the world. Prior to that, he held senior management positions in major UK FMCG businesses including St Ivel and United Biscuits. He has worked extensively in both retail and ecommerce.
“By leveraging the remarkable brand awareness in retail stores, Emma will be able to reach those 50% of consumers who still prefer choosing their bed in-store rather than shopping online," says Neil. "Also, an in-store presence helps to develop Emma’s innovative and distinctive brand profile for consumers who are not regular ecommerce users. As such, I believe retail and ecommerce will complement each other perfectly.”
From the outset, this fast-growing European D2C brand in the field of mattresses and sleeping systems has relied on co-operating with the established retail sector in addition to digital sales channels. This omnichannel approach has become one of the keys to Emma's success. In his new role, Neil has thus set himself no lesser goal than to replicate the huge success that Emma has had in its UK and Ireland D2C business, in the retail sector.
“The UK and Irish retail structure is complex and diverse," Neil explains. "It ranges from big bricks-and-mortar nationals to small, local, independent businesses. My objective is to add a degree of clarity and experience to the Emma retail initiative that will complement the world-class work already undertaken and take us to clear brand leadership in the UK and Ireland in 2021."
Dr Dennis Schmoltzi, founder and CEO of Emma together with Manuel Mueller, adds: “In Neil Robinson we have found an expert for the British and Irish market who knows the mattress business intimately and brings excellent retail contacts to the table. With his expertise we will take our well-established omnichannel strategy to a new level in these important markets.”