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IFA International 2016 Preview Edition

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TRADE TALK expert

TRADE TALK expert International: Concentrating on Quality Service Dieter Mathys Managing Director, expert International expert International comes to IFA on an optimistic note, looking back on another year marked by expansion, but preferring to increase in quality this year than quantity. Last year, the expert International Group was boosted in Europe by the addition of two strong new licensees. In Poland, specialist retailer Komputronik, with its focus on IT, was successfully integrated into the Group, whilst in Switzerland, electronics chain melectronics was brought on board. This means the expert brand is now represented in twenty countries with more than 3,500 specialist stores. “We are delighted to have acquired Komputronik and melectronics – two top players with very strong market positions. Thanks particularly to their clear focus on service and advice, both companies fit perfectly into expert”, said a confident Dieter Mathys, Managing Director of expert International. With more than 200 shops and annual turnover of 550 million euros, Komputronik is one of the top companies in Poland. In the area of IT, it is already number one, and in cooperation with expert, it is set to continually expand its competence in white and brown goods. In Switzerland too, the expert International Group’s home turf, the brand has been ideally positioned since 2015: specialist retailer melectronics, which is part of the Migros Group, has a dense network of locations with more than 100 branches throughout Switzerland. The strong crosschannel orientation in particular, and the expertise associated with this, represents a bonus for the expert International Group. The aim for expert International Group is to further drive development away from affiliation purely for purchasing purposes and towards multichannel retail with first-rate service and top advice. In 2016 the topic of growth has not been a key focus: “This year, we are looking more towards organic than geographical expansion. We don’t want to be the biggest – we want to be the best”, emphasises Dieter Mathys 18

TRADE TALK Karl Trautmann Member of the Board, ElectronicPartner Handel SE CZECH REPUBLIC’S DATART INTERNATIONAL AT IFA UNDER EURONICS OWNERSHIP ElectronicPartner Builds on Omni-Channel Approach In 2015, the ElectronicPartner buying group and the E-commerce company Sparhandy GmbH began developing a strategic partnership. We asked Karl Trautmann - Member of the Board - ElectronicPartner Handel SE how this is progressing in 2016. The stronger cooperation has considerable strategic importance for us. Sparhandy GmbH is a leading E-commerce company in the area of telecommunications and has been established on the market for more than 15 years with the TÜV SÜD certified portal sparhandy.de. Sparhandy GmbH promotes contract mobile communications services as an independent online reseller. Purchasing, sales and logistics for both companies' mobile communications hardware are being pooled in the modern Sparhandy GmbH logistics centre in Bochum. At the same time, ElectronicPartner has increased the former capital investment in Sparhandy to 50.1%, having previously held a minority stake in the company since 2013. Mobile communications are one of the strongest drivers of growth in our branch. This cooperation makes ElectronicPartner and Sparhandy into one of the largest players, and it means we can also create a strong position for the future for our retail members. What is changing in the way services and solutions are being offered today? We are switching from an analogue sales process to a digital, multichannel-supported approach. Thereby, capabilities in networks, solutions and software will gain an increasing importance in contrast to manual skills like delivery and installation. How are customers able to be better satisfied with face-to-face service and why is this important? In the stationary retail format, a competitive advantage and an advantage towards the e-commerce is the decisive distinction of singularity - the personal contact - provided that employees in retail are better trained, also having the necessary empathy. While the key topics are becoming increasingly complex, the trust in the salesperson becomes an important factor. EP:specialist retailers are dedicated to a shared quality concept. They promise their customers: “My service makes the difference.” Accordingly, they are on hand as local contacts to give first-class advice and comprehensive services. Personal and individual advice is an important factor – not just in the shop but also in the customer’s home if the customer so wishes. This is often the best place to find out how consumers can achieve more energy savings in the household or connect electronic equipment to their best advantage. What new marketing techniques are you finding to be the most interesting? Due to our experience in e-commerce we define “click and collect” as the most important technique in the omni-trade Datart Czech, otherwise known as Datart International Inc., comes to IFA this year as a new entity – fully separated from previous mother company Darty, and now under the Euronics umbrella. Euronics International first announced the take-over in January by its Czech member, Euronics CR Inc. (‘Euronics Czech’), which incorporated Datart International Inc into its group. Euronics Czech’s largest member, HP Tronic, holds a minority interest in Datart Czech. Datart Czech brings more than 30 stores to the Euronics Czech group, with a corresponding considerable increase in turnover. In a market under consolidation, Euronics Czech has sustained its growth through this integration of a former competitor, thus continuing to grow as a leader in the region. John Olsen, Managing Director of Euronics International confirmed, “by increasing its network of shops, Euronics reinforces its capacity to display and introduce innovative products and exceptional services to consumers in a market particularly characterised by E-commerce sales and the relative disconnection between consumers and retailers” www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 29 th August 2016 19

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