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Day 1 - IFA International

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news ReTAIL ReLATIOnsHIPs VITAL FOR InDUsTRY sUCCess GeRMAnY BeATs DOwnTURn BY BUYInG QUALITY Jens Heithecker, IFA Executive Director Jens Heithecker, IFA Executive Director, explains what the trends are looking like this year… We’ve just witnessed some impressive figures at the international press conference and things are looking very positive for the IFA 2009. What are the trends for the year ahead? One of the main trends coming from the past is the TV, which is bigger and sharper, and HD is coming up in the market now in Europe. We are a little bit behind the US and Japanese markets but HD is one of the most important reasons that the outlook for the industry is optimistic for TV sets. You’ve been visiting the world, meeting with all the top manufacturers, talking to them about getting into the show again this year. What is the feeling among these manufacturers about how the market’s going? Companies have to invest in the next generation of technology, and there are huge investments they have to make. This means that if we come to one of the main key players and we ask them for a huge investment in our show, of course they will look a little bit astonished but the main point is that it’s not enough to have the right products and the right technology. We need to contact the markets and it’s part of the success of the industry to get in contact with the right retailers and the right buyers. It’s the first step to the success of the European markets and the markets worldwide. In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of deals done at IFA. Last year three billion Euros in deals, what is the target this year? Do you have any sort of hopeful target of what might be the deals done? If we achieve the same level as we got last year, we would be very satisfied. The question is what about the stocks of the retailers? Are the stocks empty by now, or filled? We have to hope that the retailers are realising these are the right products for the next pushes in the market, expected by the soccer championship, expected by the HD contents, and we hope that the retailers are realising these are the right products and we hope they are ordering these products. Dr Reinhard Zinkann, Chairman of the homeappliances division ZVEI The home-appliance sector is out in force at IFA 2009. Dr Reinhard Zinkann, Chairman of the home-appliances division of the German industry group ZVEI, talks Richard Barnes through this year's highlights… What are the key trends in home appliances? Energy consumption and consumer convenience are both gaining in importance and are giving rise to many new products and ideas. I think we will see a lot of exciting developments in both these areas at IFA 2009. The German market is proving to be more resilient than many of its European counterparts. Why do you believe that is? What's Germany doing right? First, I think the German economy is still performing a little bit stronger than some other economies, especially those in Central Europe. Second — and perhaps more important — many Germans have household products that now older than 10 or 15 years, which gives us a huge domestic replacement market. Added to that, when Germans spend money in insecure times, they tend to spend it on fewer but better products — products that they believe will give them better service, are of better quality and will last them for longer. I think this is also one of the reasons why the domestic-appliance industry has done better in Germany than it has in some other European countries. The last point I would like to make is that, last year, IFA threw the spotlight on the home-appliance industry and that really helped to stimulate the local market. It didn't just generate interest among the trade, but it also raised awareness among German consumers. What do you expect from IFA 2009? It is very important in tough economic times to have positive news — and IFA has a very, very positive story to tell in terms of household appliances. As a result, it generates positive feelings in everybody involved — from consumers to the trade. Everybody is happy. I'm convinced the household-appliance industry will be as successful at IFA 2009 as it was at last year's event. IFA International • Friday, 4 th September 2009 7

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