Retailer identifies trends towards bigger TV sets and streaming
2019 has been a challenging year for the electronic retail business. IFA International asked Karl Trautmann, Member of the Management Board at ElectronicPartner, how the company has adapted to global market conditions and what consumer trends he is witnessing.
After a turbulent and challenging 2018, how has business been so far this year for Electronic Partner?
2019 has been another challenging year for the electronic retail business. In recent months, we have adapted our organisational structure to match current industry conditions and positioned our strategic core brands for the future. In this context, development in the various product areas is proceeding in different ways. While the TV product category was challenging in the rst half of the year, our business in home electronics is stable. In addition, we are quite satis ed with the sales performance in the B2B area, which is higher than in the previous year.
WE ARE FOCUSING ON AN ATTRACTIVE, HIGH QUALITY PRODUCT RANGE AND IMPROVEMENT IN CONSULTATION EXPERTISE
What are the key trends in the market affecting business?
The trend for TV is “Bigger is better” tending towards large sizes and innovative technologies. This development includes OLED and QLED devices, which provide impressive image quality on very large surfaces as well. Another on-trend development is streaming – of both films and series as well as music and spoken word media. Consumers expect that their televisions or wireless speakers can be connected with Netflix, Spotify at the touch of a button. In home electronics, fully automatic coffee machines are continuing to triumph. Moreover, battery-operated stick vacuum cleaners are very popular, followed by robot vacuum cleaners and devices for wet cleaning. In terms of large appliances, the focus is still on energy savings and networking.
Which product categories are the most promising for you and to that end, what are you looking for at IFA?
Nearly all of the product categories presented at IFA are also in our portfolio. That’s why we’re looking forward to all of the innovations and new developments that are invigorating our business and appealing to our customers.
How are you looking to innovate with new concepts?
Since the beginning of the 2014 quality campaign, the EP: sales line turnover has increased every year and its development has been better than that of the market. We just started quality campaign 2.0 and our emphasis is on advanced training. The EP:Campus is a new training platform that includes customised training modules on industry developments, product knowledge and commercial expertise. In order to continue to develop the MEDIMAX brand successfully in 2019, we combined internal areas of expertise and optimised structures. We’re focusing on an attractive, high quality product range and yet obtain even more improvement in consultation expertise. In 2018, the technology network comTeam, with about 800 partners, achieved its best results since its creation. In this context, growr, the network for start-ups established in 2017 under the auspices of comTeam, continues to experience more and more in ux and now connects over 300 business founders.
How important is IFA as a platform for your business?
IFA is the leading event in our industry and it takes place in Berlin, right on our doorstep! Nowhere else is there such a concentration of relevant brands, contacts and product highlights. For this reason, we recommend that all of our members take advantage of this opportunity. Here they have a front row seat for innovations and can experience the coming trends in person.
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Photo: Karl Trautmann Member of the Management Board ElectronicPartner