EK Servicegroup’s electroplus stores at heart of strategic realignment
Changes in consumer behaviour and major structural changes in the retail landscape has proven to be a challenge for the sector in 2018. We asked EK Servicegroup Home Department Manager Jochen Pohle how his organisation has been adapting to these conditions.
In an environment of growing brand affinity and at the same time pronounced price sensitivity on the part of consumers, EK’s activities in the white goods, lighting and kitchen furniture sectors developed above the market level. In addition to the strategic realignment of our business units, store concepts such as electroplus/ küchenplus, aimed at boosting revenue and increasing market penetration, have paid off. Today, 53 electroplus brand stores have already been installed on the trading circuit alone – and this gure is on the rise.
THE DISTRIBUTORS WHO MAKE COMPLEX ISSUES SIMPLER ARE AMONG THE WINNERS.
You operate all over Europe. How are your international activities evolving?
Our cross-border activities are an essential component of the growth- oriented EK alignment. We currently offer services to retailers across branches in 14 European countries and we’re working consistently on developing our international business. In doing so, we enjoy making new contacts with entrepreneurs and talking to interested trade groups about the possibility of collaborating on the EK medium-sized business platform.
What do you see as being the key trends in terms of consumer demand?
The megatrend towards networking electrical appliances and their control systems using apps leveraging artificial intelligence ultimately aims to significantly facilitate consumers’ lives and ful l their desire for individualisation. In the process, criteria such as time saving and efficiency are equally as popular as the demand for comfort, design, and resource conservation. In this context, consumers place great value on individual consultation and customised support services. The distributors who make complex issues simpler are among the winners. It is also important to have an online and fixed presence with full performance on all channels. Therefore, our omni- channel platform ERES is in line with the fundamental digitalisation of the retail world, while trade still continues in the specialist on-site shops.
What activities are happening during IFA this year?
This year, our IFA trade fair appearance focuses on the electroplus/küchenplus success concepts. Here, we show trade visitors the extent to which our shop concepts are high-profile, pro table, and geared to the target group. In addition, we present the entire range of our omni- channel services – including the kiosk system for the virtually extending sales counter and the current online marketing package for electroplus/küchenplus.
Why is your partnership with IFA so important?
Alongside the traditional function as a trading venue, IFA is also becoming more and more significant as a networking hub. In addition to presenting our own range of services, this leading global trade fair opens up ideal opportunities to talk to all participants in our sector about trends, developments and possible partnerships. Moreover, the great appeal of IFA brings the latest exciting developments in the home appliances industry to the attention of consumers. And it’s not just trade that benefits from this.
> Hall 1.1, Stand 203
Photo: Jochen Pohle, Home Department Manager, EK Servicegroup