Karl Trautmann, Member of the Management Board of ElectronicPartner, reflects on business over the past year


In 2017, ElectronicPartner celebrated its 80th anniversary. Concluding its anniversary year with an increase in turnover was a great success. We asked Karl Trautmann to tell us more about the company’s sales in 2017.

With core sales of €1.695 billion in Germany and through the European national organisations, we increased our sales by 2.5%. Germany, the core market, was responsible for €1.3 billion, equivalent to an increase of 2.6% in comparison with the previous year. The Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland generated €385 million, improving by 2.1% with respect to 2016. We are augmenting our experience and healthy corporate structure with innovative ideas to ensure successful performance – and we achieved it again.

What “makes the difference” with your stores?

Our awareness of our members’ needs forms the basis of a reliable support in everyday business operations. As part of our 360° marketing concept, we create a modern, uniform appearance at the point-of-sale, on the Internet and also offline. This enables us to give EP: brand traders in Germany their prestige as a “local hero” and let them be part of a strong, uniform brand, which once again outperformed the market in 2017.

How is the EP: brand developing?

Although the specialist retail channel suffered another decrease of 1% in 2017 according to the GfK marketing research company, the EP: brand experienced new growth of 3.4%, which means that the success story of the quality campaign is continuing at a sustainable level. Market advancement will be maintained this year as well with new approaches to advanced training and company succession.

MEDIMAX seems to be going well… benefitting from online distribution. Please tell us more.

About 16 months after it started, the turnover of the online shop continues to increase in importance at MEDIMAX. The reservation function has established itself as a significant customer magnet. With a pick-up rate of over 50 per cent, it has created a bridge between the web and the PoS. “We’re celebrating MEDIMAXIMAL” is the motto for 2018 for the 130 locations of this retail chain in Germany. The brand’s 30th birthday is the focus of a strong consumer campaign to raise interest. The football World Cup and the 30th anniversary of MEDIMAX are just two positive influences on the 2018 financial year. Our three most important brands have sharpened their profiles – we’re ready to meet the challenges in our industry again. There are reasons for excitement in retail for 2018, such as the triumph of voice control and increasing interconnectivity.

What are the main goals of your partnership with IFA?

The IFA is the leading event of our industry and in my opinion the most important event of the year. All relevant brands present their innovations and concepts here. This provides an outlook on the future of the industry. In today’s world, where consumers are usually well informed, a visit to IFA is a must to gather first-hand knowledge and an insight on key trends.


What are you noting as being the main trends in the market in terms of demand (sweet spots)?

Voice control and increasing interconnectivity drive the market. IFA is still the best place to experience how different categories like white goods and mobile grow together and develop exciting new features.

How important is IFA as a networking platform for you?

We recommend our members IFA as a must see and the most important fair in our business eld. Besides getting an impression of trends and innovations, networking and exchange are also very important during IFA.

Photo: Karl Trautmann, Member of the Management Board, ElectronicPartner