The Keyword is “Storytelling”

Retailers looking for products with emotion to entice at point of sale

EK/servicegroup, one of Europe’s largest retail cooperatives in the living and comfort sectors, is back at IFA to present its latest point of sale innovations. IFA International spoke to Lutz Burneleit, Divisional Manager Household Appliances at EK, about the latest retailing trends and the unique ways that EK offers marketing, IT, financial and warehousing support to store owners.

In the business field of comfort, technologies that make life easier continue to fascinate, which is why the focus is still on the Smart Home. The same also applies to the floor care segment. Battery-powered vacuum cleaners represent the new independence in vacuuming. Cooking is a huge trend – it unites the people in the kitchen. The motto is: have a good time and enjoy.

What is driving EK’s current retailing support strategy?

The intelligent combination of online and offline trading is one of our top priorities. Thus our trading partners can rely on our support in regard to the increasing importance of digitisation in all technical and content-related aspects. The continuous development of our eCommerce platform and the expansion of online marketing for the retail concepts of the EK/servicegroup are important elements. The retailer must be visible and findable online. Otherwise, the game is over.

 Which products should retailers watch out for at IFA?

The sector is looking for trends and innovations that create emotions at the POS, generate images in customer’s mind and tell stories. For the trade, the keyword “storytelling” is just as important as the customer-orientated information about resource efficiency and sustainability.

Why is it important for manufacturers to help you with staff training?

The number of manufacturer trainings for the trade has continuously increased in the last few years. Only well-informed employees are able to impart the benefits and unique features of the product and the brand, and are able to turn customers into fans of the brand. Manufacturers require brand ambassadors in the stores. Appropriate trainings are the way to achieve this.

How important is IFA as a source of supplier / manufacturer information and contacts?

As one of the most important fairs for home appliances, there is no way that we are not attending IFA. As a co-operative, the main focus is on recognising trends and innovations as well as the networking with industry and trade. IFA provides a unique forum for this. Furthermore, the show is an ideal showcase for our business field of comfort.

Lutz Burneleit, Divisional Manager Household Appliances, EK/servicegroup.