The first time we encountered Lucky Goldstar was in the early 1990s when we were selling mostly mobiles. We had decided a little earlier to branch into fixed line telephony and sell more Fax machines – hopefully all the Millennials and Zoomers know what these were!
Back then, we had a shop in Enfield selling Nokia Mobira mobiles to primarily business users, since they weren’t really a consumer product in the late 80s and early 90s.
At the time, we were selling Philips Sophos and buying from the likes of Nimans and Rocom. Then the eye-opening recession hit in 1991. That August our sales dropped from in excess of 300 mobiles per month down to single digits. Luckily, we covered ourselves by broadening our product base early on so we could still plough through, but for a while you knew the bailiffs were never too far from the door!
Without the significant search directory that the internet is today, we had to go to exhibitions to discover new products. Two of my staff at the time went to an exhibition that Crane were exhibiting at – I think in Birmingham. When they returned, they wouldn’t stop raving about the Goldstar GSX they had seen, so I agreed to have a look at it.
To us the GSX represented a unique opportunity to have a product that was not distributed by Nimans and Network, it wouldn’t be one of 4 resellers presenting Panasonic or Philips. Crane offered us the relationship that we had enjoyed with our mobile suppliers – Nokia Mobira.
Tom Wordsworth, our Prospective Account Manager then rocked up to deliver a demo – it was convenient as he lived locally. Straight after the demo, we loved the product and just how stretchy the handset curly cord was (back then it was a big deal!), it wasn’t just because we were new to fixed line telephony, it was Tom’s pièce de resistance, how could we say no? The deal was done. It wasn’t just that demonstration, the pitch, and the handset that impressed us, it was what came after. The relationship, support and expertise offered by Crane was a clear winner. That’s how it all began.
I remember the first Crane National Conference – somewhere in the Midlands, which was an interesting experience. My background was in ICI Pharmaceuticals and BOC medical, so I was used to 5-star venues and limitless budgets. However, my first thought was it’s not quite the same in this industry, then? The overall experience of that first National Conference was great, and I quickly realised that I was dealing with a 5-star company in Crane.
I still remember the picture of David George and Tracy Jackson called “Going for Gold”.
I’ve travelled the world with Ericsson-LG, Crane, Capstan, Pragma, and their resellers, and I wouldn’t change one thing about it.
We have stuck by Ericsson-LG for all these years because Crane, the people of Crane and their resellers have cemented strong bonds in the industry. It was a great day when it was announced that David, Tim, and Will at Pragma were going to take the product over from Capstan who had run it into the ground and was going nowhere with it.