Big Interview with Gareth Price

Gareth Price, UK Divisional Manager at Lynch Sales Company, talks about the love for his role he has held for almost 25 years, who he most admires and why his bonkers coffee table isn’t going anywhere.

Let’s start with you. Can you share a bit about yourself and your background?

I am lucky to live on the south coast, with the Solent as my backyard. I was born in Emsworth, and I plan on staying here for the long haul. I went to school in Brecon and have lived and worked in Cardiff, London, and Canterbury. Work has also taken me to every major town and city in the UK and Ireland. My first job was as a management trainee at Debenhams in Southsea, which provided me with an excellent education. I am still learning.

What is your current job role and key responsibilities?

I have run Lynch in the UK for nearly 25 years. I collaborate with our clients and coordinators to make our events fly. I am passionate about accomplishing our shared objectives.

What do you love about your job?

I enjoy solving the puzzle every promotion brings. Delving into the planning and details. Only when all the pieces fit together can you see the big picture. The variety of promotions keeps things interesting, especially since we have organised events in English, Welsh, Cypriot, and Russian. Recently, I have returned to running sales and have found it to be an invaluable relearning experience.

What time is your alarm clock set for?

6.00am. The Today programme, a cup of tea & cake, 6:30 Breakfast, 7:00 Emails & plan the day. 7:30 Start doing stuff. 9:00 Coffee and a cigarette. 9:15 Push on with calls & e-mails. 11:00. Cup of tea & another cigarette. 11:15 Chase up earlier stuff.

Why did you choose to work in the furnishing industry?

I think it chose me. In department stores, you either went big ticket or small ticket. I was promoted quickly through soft furnishings, floor coverings, fitted kitchens and then furniture. I did well and there was no going back.

Who do you most admire in the industry and why?

Our business was filled with talented and hardworking individuals, making it a tough environment in which to shine. Malcolm Perring and Nigel Wesson were particularly kind to me. Innovative and creative leaders who empowered us. Perring’s had a strong focus on its people, and even after its closure, many of my colleagues were able to secure great jobs within our industry. Another is Roy Gess, my friend and mentor, and I still talk to him at least once every month.

Have there been any special moments during your career?

Taking £6.5m in a single store in 30 days, with £1m on the first day. Fielding 60 truckloads of de-ranged stock for House of Fraser. Running successful sales in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos. Closing stores successfully but with sensitivity and kindness.

It’s always great to receive positive feedback too. Here are what some of our customers have said.

Mattressman, Norwich: “We are really pleased with the outcome, all possible through the success of the Lynch sale, so thank you very much for all your hard work during that whole period. We accomplished all our objectives and saw off an awful lot of stock we really didn’t need.”

Collingwood Batchelor, Worthing: “Thanks Gareth. Very pleased with the end result. £450k was the top end of expectations and we certainly cleared some old stock. Till sales were also very good. Certainly, took on board how we must turn the building works in to positive news. Thank you for all your help, was nice to have you around. Until the next time all the very best.”

The Store Interiors: “Sales exceeded our expectations by a considerable margin. Steve worked tirelessly ticketing every item on our three large floors, from furniture to accessories, became an integral member of our team with a refreshing positive outlook.”

Barkers, Sheffield: “We are extremely pleased with the outcomes and are confident that advice given to us at all stages was tailored explicitly to meet optimum target.”

What is your favourite item of furniture you own and why?

I have a bonkers coffee table I ordered on a very rainy day in Sorrento. I tried so hard not to buy it. It is one of a kind and will dictate our colour scheme for decades. I will never sell it – I suspect no sane person would buy it!

What do you think is trending within the industry at present?

Customer service. Social media and reviews are driving higher standards of customer care, and this may become a defining factor in future. Sustainability too.

What would you change in the industry?

I love IT. Let it do all the mundane stuff, support sound decision making but don’t let it run the show. People are creative, unpredictable, annoying and funny. Let’s keep them front and centre.

Can you share an insight into your future plans?

More quality and less volume. In everything. Our sales events have evolved into a much more bespoke service paying massive attention to targeting our client’s budget. This is working very well. We looked at ways we could focus our energy and our clients marketing budget even more effectively. We have redoubled our efforts to target our firepower where it matters, which has already achieved extraordinary and measurable results. We usually expect 20% to 30% of a client’s annual turnover in month. We seem to be exceeding that with even greater preparation and event planning.

So far this year we’ve more than delivered double the sales volume growth compared to 2022, with all clients serving as returning customers. We intend to build on has accomplished, refine our processes and reach out to suitable furniture retailers that could benefit from a Lynch sale event.

In recent months, many retailers and friends in the industry have commentated that sales have slowed, but this has not been our experience. If you put something credible and exciting on, the customers will come. Be honest in your offers, plan and deliver your promotion carefully, earn your customers trust and they will buy. Retail is, after all, detail.

What do you enjoy most outside of work / free time?

Playing tennis and if there is more time, playing more tennis.

What might someone not know about you?

I trained to be a vaccinator during the pandemic.

If you had a different career, what would it be?

When I left school, I wanted to be a photographer. I can take a decent snap, but I would have starved.

Finally, if you were an item of furniture, what would it be and why?

A piano. Not furniture? Ours is, I’ll learn to play it one day and we shall become one.

For more information call Gareth Price 07974 209761 or visit: www.bigfurnitureshow.com/lynch

Five Fun qs:

If you could hack into any one computer, whose computer would you choose and why?

Sorry, I really hate the very idea of hacking.

What fact amazes you every time you think of it?

Humans have existed for less than 1% of earth’s history.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

Playing bass for the Nancy Hitler Band – 1 gig, I can’t play bass.

What is the most important object you own and why?

Embarrassing, but it’s my phone, I panic if we are separated.

What did you think was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now?

My entire 70’s & 80’s wardrobe. Some items may be retro chic now but never the cowboy boots, they were particularly daft.

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