James: Humphrey closer to retail handover he wants


Go Mobile boss tries to resurrect transfer of store estate to leading dealership JAG

The closeness of Go Mobile and JAG is plain, since the latter works of the logistics and EPOS systems of the former’s parent.

JAG leads the independent retail space, even through the difficult recent era for the dealer sector. It is something, demonstration of JAG boss John George’s resourcefulness as much as anything, that JAG has 90-odd stores still, and remains an important brand in the South West.

Clearly, Go Mobile boss Iain Humphrey (pictured) wants out of retail, to get free of its instability. He talks about the need to find a new way to “do independent retail”, and has attempted to open ‘concept stores’ in the manner of bigger chains, and failed.

Humphrey’s best shot at reinventing independent retail is through his Sellfone system, installed in a good chunk of the surving dealerships out there. So it makes sense he concentrates on that, and trusts George to take charge of the retail operation.

Their apparent maturity in dealing with their failed transaction before suggests, personality wise, a joint venture might work also.

But, then, this is dealer land, where such arrangements tend still to be done on handshakes.