Free webinar to help retail businesses in East Anglia

Woman wearing face mask push shopping cart in supermarket department store

The next Bitesize Insight webinar by MHA Larking Gowen focuses on the advice to overcome the challenges faced by retail during the pandemic - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The next Bitesize Insight webinar from MHA Larking Gowen will see Robert Hughes of Hughes Electrical sharing his experience of getting the firm through the pandemic. 

Every business has faced challenges this year because of the coronavirus – especially those in retail.

To help companies in the East of England get through these difficult trading conditions, MHA Larking Gowen has organised a series of free Bitesize Insight webinars, each lasting 30 minutes.

"The webinars share with business owners how other business owners are dealing with the pandemic,” explains MHA Larking Gowen partner Ian Fitch. “They’ll share their experiences and look at ideas for how to grow once we get back to normal.”  

Ian will host the next webinar on December 15, with Robert Hughes of Hughes Electrical. “It is a family business that’s been around for 99 years and it’s grown significantly in recent years,” says Ian.

“It’s an interesting time for retail,” says Robert. “Ian asked me: Why are you doing okay and Arcadia aren’t? They had four brands and one channel while we have one brand and four channels. We’re much safer. We’ve been preparing for something like this for a decade.  

“At times we’ve felt like a person with one foot in boiling water and one foot in freezing water: on average it’s fine, but it isn’t half uncomfortable,” he says. “The website is at full capacity, with people working round the clock - both in distribution and in the call centre. Then you’ve got the other half of our business, the shops, where people have been furloughed.

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“We have moved from websites being windows for shops, to shops being fulfilment centres for websites – the servant has become the master,” he explains. “Before Covid, around 35pc of transactions in electrical goods across the industry were made online, with 65pc in the store. That has now swung completely the other way, even when the shops reopened, with 65-35 in favour of the web. The question we all have is: Will that switch back?”

The MHA Larking Gowen webinar will look at this – and other issues. “We like to get behind the business owner a little bit, to find out about them personally and what makes them tick, to understand how they make decisions,” concludes Ian. “The last question will be: What one piece of advice is the take-away for everyone listening.”

To watch the free MHA Larking Gowen webinar on December 15, please register at

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