IFA retail partner Expert International GmbH has more than 3,600 stores in 21 countries, with total retail sales of more than €13bn in product including consumer electronics (TV, audio, etc.), mobile phones, IT products (desktops, notebooks, printers, software, accessories, etc.), as well as home appliances. We asked Expert Managing Director, Dieter Mathys, what “makes the difference” with their stores?

Focus on the best advice and comprehensive services, combined with an increasingly mature multichannel approach. The POS is gradually becoming a POE (point of emotion and/or experience), but not with jokes, but with sensible measures that really make a difference to the customer: less is more!

What are you noting as being the main trends in the market in terms of demand (sweet spots)? There are many new, interesting products. What is most in demand, however, are convenience when shopping and good prices.

How important is IFA as a networking platform for you?

IFA is still the most important and best fair for us. We learn more about the latest products in a highly efficient way and can exchange ideas with the strategic suppliers. Despite the Internet, personal exchange still exists: Thank God!

How could you best describe your general strategy in the market? Our strategy is based on four pillars (the 4Bs), with the aim that our National Retail Organisations offer the best level of advice and service to our customers:

• Basics: We are a retail and service group which offers a professional multichannel retail environment

• Buying: Our National Retail Organisations centralise the buying power of the independent retailers in order to offer competitive prices to our customers, with a full selection on and off-line

• Branding: The Expert brand is associated with competence in our industry • Be digital: Our unique way of multi-channelling in our countries is based on the location of our physical stores, combined with a personal approach and meaningful communication with our customers

Photo: Dieter Mathys, Managing Director, Expert International GmbH