THOMSON has watered down the conditions of its controversial Preferred Agent scheme in a bid to win over disgruntled independent agents.
The much-maligned totem pole window display, compulsory under the scheme when it was launched 12 months ago, will now be optional.
"There were elements of the scheme that were too rigid," admitted sales director Manuel Mascarenhas. "The totem pole, for example, was inappropriate for some agents. Multiples in particular have their own point-of-sale strategies. We realised we needed to be more flexible."
The operator has also lowered the sales targets for agents.
Originally an agency chain had to ensure each branch turned over £200,000, while single-shop retailers had to generate turnover of £300,000. These figures have dropped to £150,000 and £200,000 respectively.
"Smaller agents who were supporters of Thomson did not hit the required sales volume and were excluded," added Mascarenhas. "We hope to attract 150 more independents into the scheme by lowering the volume."
He added more prominence will also be given to preferred agent branding.
Compulsory Thomson branding on all agents' Teletext pages is now optional.
The operator will take account of the increasing sales being driven through Lunn Poly in future talks with agents.
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