Power 50 Profile: Iain Humphrey, MD, Shebang Distribution
Iain Humphrey is currently masterminding a major advance into franchised retailing which will see Shebang’s portfolio of 58 directly-owned Go Mobile stores become franchised, bringing the company’s store portfolio to a total of around 109. This move into franchised retail under the Purple Partnership programme will also see a concerted push of its Go Mobile retail brand into 80 new towns as Humphrey seeks to maintain Shebang’s position as the third largest independant mobile retailer in the UK. Humphrey also has ambitions in the concessions market, having clinched a deal to run Asda’s mobile stores, with the planned launch of around 20 new mobile stores this year. Humphrey is known for his drive and ambition, which has seen him carve out a major retail presence in mobile for Shebang.
One distributor has appeared to be carving its own niche in this embattled segment of the industry. Humphrey has created a business through his faith in the Sellfone 3G software. He has looked to dealers and big retail chains to sign up to his fulfilment service, which appears further ahead of any challengers. His business has jumped from a turnover of £13m in 2007 to £30m by the end of last year, as he remains firm that his lean operation will attract more retailers, and find new divisions to attract customers otherwise struggling to see the value from mobile distribution.Network suppliers talk of Humphrey’s boundless energy and ideas.