Lutz Burneleit, business unit manager for small appliances at EK/servicegroup, updates on the progress made by the company this year.

In 2018, EK/servicegroup’s business area that includes household appliances, lights and kitchen furniture is currently developing to market level. We asked Lutz Burneleit to give an update on the key factors affecting business.


Considering the positive labour market situation, the economic indices of GfK, for example, remain at a high level in terms of income expectations and the propensity to buy. This is felt by the industry and, accordingly, the EK/ servicegroup. Our shop concept, electroplus, which has now been implemented around 50 times, is presenting as above average. This shows, once again, that conceptual thinking and action pays off, in addition to a close, trusting collaboration with our suppliers.

What are the main goals of your partnership with IFA?

In addition to the abundance of the latest trends, product developments, and technical innovations, our main focus as a Europe-wide buying group is on a close connection with commercial and industrial partners. IFA brings the entire industry in all its diversity to Berlin; this is precisely why the trade fair is the ideal platform for us, which we want to contribute to with our presence. In principle, we are pursuing the same interests as the trade fair organisers and, therefore, we have an active partnership with IFA.

How important is training today, and what do you do to cater for this need?

Whoever doesn’t improve their qualifications, will sooner or later be disqualified – this applies particularly to competition in large sales areas. Our offer of education and training – also available online – is therefore geared towards the developments of the market and the needs of the trade. We focus on topics that really affect the industry. The broad field of digitisation is a prime example of this. The quality requirement of the active profiling of retailers is also considered a top priority.

What are you noting as being the main trends in the market in terms of demand?

The fascination for innovative products that make life easier is unwavering. In terms of large appliances, interest is focusing increasingly on washer-dryers, while in the kitchen, built-in extractor fans are booming. Cooling devices are also in high demand– which is no surprise, given the hot summer. Consumers are continuing to focus on resource efficiency and sustainability in all categories. Saving energy and water is still cool.
In terms of small appliances, cordless stick vacuum cleaners and robotic vacuum cleaners are popular in the vacuum department, as are air conditioners and fully automatic coffee makers which are guaranteed to provide enjoyment. In general, for both large and small appliances, the winner will be whoever acts on current trends quickly and professionally.

How important is IFA as a networking platform for you?

IFA is the most important trade fair platform in our industry. As networkers with a variety of skills relating to this industry, short distances between all market participants and direct, personal discussion about trends and innovations are a big plus for us. The external impact of IFA is not to be underestimated: as the world’s leading trade fair for consumer electronics and home appliances, noticeable sales impulses are being established through a broad media presence.


Thoughts on IFA International, the official show daily?

It’s not only end customers who are looking for clear guidance. Industry professionals look forward to world trade fairs – like IFA – too, for structured, vup-to-date, and wellprepared information. And that’s exactly what IFA International delivers. For us, this newspaper is a welcome, reliable companion for busy days. If this format were not available, it would need to be invented.

Photo: Lutz Burneleit Business unit manager, EK/servicegroup