One on One with Richard Bowe
Director Sales & Customer Support – ACCO Brands ANZ

Professional Overview:
My background has predominantly been in sales with over 28 years of expertise across 4 countries such as New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. I am currently residing as Director of Sales & Customer Support at ACCO Brands ANZ and have been so for the past 3 years, although this is the first time, I have been exposed to the Office Supply Industry. I do however strongly believe the fundamental strategy and execution of sales can translate successfully into this industry; I will admit though that the go-to-market plans require some adaptation. My mantra has always been that to be successful you must be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods, which I follow to this day.

Personal Trivia:
Growing up in New Zealand, I often joke that rugby is in my blood. I am an ex-player and avid supporter of my hometown Canterbury Crusaders, but also passionately barrack for our World Famous “Mighty All Blacks”. As a proud father of two teenage boys, I continue to support their sporting ambitions outside of rugby including Basketball, Health & Fitness, and “Gaming” (though the latter I must admit is not my forte). I have instilled in my sons the belief to be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire and in the same vein I enjoy reading, traveling, meeting new people & experiencing different cultures, trying new cuisines, and the odd glass of wine (or two!). 

Memorable achievements in the industry:
I have always enjoyed cultivating a positive team culture and encouraging a collaborative working environment where individuals can be empowered to excel and succeed, supporting customers, business partners, and peers alike.

This has been most evident navigating the recent turbulent times due to COVID19 and the fast-changing landscape of this industry. The most memorable achievement has simply been the ability to lead our sales & customer support teams to change, evolve, adapt, and adjust as each aspect and facet of our traditional business model was pushed to every pain point under these incredibly challenging times. Whilst continuing to supply the Office Products industry new and exciting products and categories with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Advice to Newsagents:

  • Stay fresh and relevant
  • Monitor and review your business and go to market strategies often
  • Support your supporters
  • Build strong and trusted relationships with your key suppliers and association
  • Invest in products that offer features and benefits to your customers but also offer margin opportunities to yourselves

Invest in brands that have customer recognition and that will drive customers to your store