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Preview Edition - IFA International

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Trade News Bernd

Trade News Bernd Horenkamp COO (sales, marketing and purchasing) Honing Str EK/servicegroup… and the role Lutz Burneleit Division Manager comfort (electrical appliances, kitchen, lamps, installations) What is the role of the retail cooperative in today's economy? Is it changing? Is it growing in relevance and if so, why? We put the question to Bernd Horenkamp and Lutz Burneleit of EL/servicegroup… Bernd Horenkamp: In order to survive the cut-throat competition of retail trade, it is necessary to make best use of cooperative strategies that provide optimum conditions through intelligent procurement and at the same time encourage the development of local shopping concepts and the provision of retail-relevant information and services. This precisely describes the remit of the EK/service group. As a cooperative we have constant shared responsibility for the economic development of our members. Please tell us more about your Representative Assembly and how this works. BH: The Representatives‘ Meeting is EK’s highest decision-making organ and the most important link between the members and the headquarters. 67 selected dealers represent their colleagues in Germany and abroad, from different regions, trade sectors and business types. They bring their commitment to the “EK Parliament” and so contribute to the necessary market and practice-based decisions that are made there. One of their concrete tasks is to determine the annual financial statement, discharge the Board and select the Supervisory Board. This involves important statutory matters. Formalities are not simply a static picture for EK 26

Trade News ategies of a retail cooperative in 2013 THE DEAL MAKERS Outdoor Electronics Selling Well in Austria but provide a framework for dynamic development – in the comfort business sector as well. There are also other committees made up of EK members such as the Supervisory and Advisory Boards such as the electroplus Advisory Board. Part of the strength of EK/service group is its diversification into household products. Are you finding, given the economy in Europe, that retailers want to broaden their product categories... or do they want to become more specialised (In the USA, specialist shops such as Best Buy are now selling bicycles and other non-electrical goods...)? Lutz Burneleit: Futureoriented independent retail formats provide the consumer not only with goods but also with installations at the POS that make shopping more pleasant. This also depends on putting together ranges that suit the mood of the customer. An example from the comfort sector: Customers looking for high quality kitchens and electrical goods will find in our “my edition” series special products as an ideal addon for cleaning and looking after the products. Sector …2,300 trading partners in 17 European countries cross-overs such as home ware or kitchen aids in the Living trade sector are very much encouraged. EK offers excellent opportunities here as a multi-sector network. According to the chart on your web site, your largest category was FAMILY, followed by COMFORT, then LIVING. Will that remain the same in the future? Which category is your fastest growing? LB: We want to expand further both in Germany and abroad – in every trade sector. As an associated group we are turning our attention to key figures such as the distribution volume to our members, which last year reached about 32.6 million euros as well as to our own profit situation. This is where we can measure EK’s actual success. Last year, you told us about in-store interactions, using Miele as an example. Have their been any recent and noteworthy in-store interactions by any of the brands? BH: Premium brands such as Miele are lighthouses in the market and are never overlooked by consumers. The loyal partnerships between all top sellers and the quality-oriented specialist trade thus remains a winwin situation for all involved. Brand names have a future EK/servicegroup currently has around 2,300 trading partners in 17 European countries. As a leading trade cooperative they look after medium-sized specialist shops with a sales area of 200 m2 as well as multisector stores and large sales areas of more than 10,000 m2. Their turnover in 2012 was 1.55 billion euros. and this is why we will continue to work closely with all the top brands in 2014. When you come to IFA this year, what will you be especially looking for? Any special or new product categories or brands... BH: IFA is in our view the ideal forum for an exchange between trade and industry. We can also facilitate better networking between our dealers and our industry partners. And there are also lots of new products and technical developments for us to discover! What is today your biggest challenge for retail members adopting your Electroplus store concept? BH: At the end of the year we have around 20 electroplus stores starting up – and counting. We are providing solutions here that have long grown out of their baby shoes and that can be put into operation. The overall package comprises a combination of a static shopping experience and online interaction via social media for example. The dealers take a bit of convincing about this last one but the future belongs to consistent Multichannel orientation. Does IFA International -- the official daily of the show-- help you in your show efforts and if so, how? BH: IFA International helps us to navigate safely through trade fairs. Sector news, product highlights, up to date statements from trade and industry, interviews, appointments that must not be missed: all this and more is delivered by IFA International and makes it indispensible to us for trade fairs. Ralph Schallmeiner Category Manager Conrad Electronic (Austria) GmbH At IFA this year, what product categories will you be taking a closer look at? On the one hand I hope that the big producers of TVs will come with real needed innovations in the next weeks and months. Another big thing will be electronics for outdoor and leisure. In Austria this sector is selling quite well and we have become a big player in outdoor electronics. So I will have a closer look on what is new and what will come. It’s also quite interesting which brands are trying to catch that train. How do you bring new technology to the attention of the customer? We are looking closer at how people are searching on our website or what people are asking in our stores. And of course you always have to ask yourself: Would I buy this? If there is no good story on a new product or an idea how it helps you in everyday life the chance to become a selfseller is quite low. That’s something the industry has to learn, but where I sometimes think they are failing. Our job is to translate the advantages and the “why” of new products to our customers in a language they can deal with. Less technical speech – more everyday life has to be the slogan! Last year you mentioned you would stay at IFA for 4 days instead of two. Is that the case? How do you plan to spend those days? This year I will arrive on Sunday and leave on Wednesday. Nearly 4 days. The first day is for becoming a first impression of the fair. No appointments at all, just having a look. Monday and Tuesday are hard working days with nearly one dph (date per hour). The last day is reserved for a second overview and for follow-up meetings if necessary. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 2 nd September 2013 27

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