We’d like to welcome the Snel family and all the staff from Seabreeze Hardware,
Amanzimoti. We’re so proud to partner with Arthur and Tersia, and look forward to a powerful relationship for positive change on the South Coast and mutual growth for all stakeholders. To frame this article, allow me to outline key reasons Seabreeze felt comfortable to partner with The Essential Group.
Previously, the store held no direct accounts with suppliers. All accounts were being run by a centralised group account, creating a relationship gap between Seabreeze and their suppliers. As a result of this relationship gap, the owners of Seabreeze experienced a serious constraint on their entrepreneurship to act decisively on local opportunities as they arose. The central account had become more of a hindrance than the helpful service it was expected to be. It also likely cost Seabreeze contributions from early settlements and other deals that were ceded to their Buying Group.
Solution: The Essential Group offerings – Customisable to specific needs.
Seabreeze felt constrained by having to largely rely on the retail brand name they were associated with. Consumers and businesses alike expect more than just a brand name from those they will support. Communities expect businesses to be genuinely involved in their community, building meaningful relationships with customers, looking beyond the boundaries of the store and into “how can I help build this community in a sustainable manner?”. Once again, being able to exercise entrepreneurial flair was being hindered by corporate compliance. It was a one-size-fits-most approach that lacked customisation for the local needs of the Seabreeze community.
Solution: Essential Growth Solutions and the customisable eco-system.
For a store to switch from a well-respected retail brand to another, requires a compelling
business case that is well-aligned to achieve that store’s specific long-term goals.
So, with that summary of the history, what attracted Seabreeze to the Essential Group?
The Power of the “Pack”
Initially, the key components of establishing any long-term relationship should be getting to know one another.
- Do the values, strategies and cultures align?
- Is there a feasible change-management strategy, from the current status quo, that mitigates the risk?
- Does the change align with both parties’ long-term goals?
- Is there belief in the common vision?
- Can we help each other grow, sustainably?
The decision-making process was thoughtful, thorough and comprehensive in every way, and afforded the Essential team the opportunity to “test” our eco-system model in a real-world scenario from a retailer’s perspective.
All credit to Seabreeze and their management team, who questioned and challenged every aspect of the offering, then, once satisfied with the alignment, acted decisively. Within a month, old signage was down, and new signage was going up, agreements with suppliers were well underway, email addresses, websites, social pages and other customer-facing branding was being changed. We’ll continue the story of this decisive action by Seabreeze and hopefully explain their adoption and implementation of the broader offering (eco-system and other models) Essential has developed for its members, suppliers and broader set of partners, for exponential growth.