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Day 4 - IFA International

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Trade News Expert Angle on the Future Breakfast presentation sets retail alliance’s agenda Diether Mathys: kicking off expert International’s first IFA press conference Diether Mathys introduces expert’s latest territorial expansion: Hungary Diether Mathys, Managing Director of expert International, began Saturday morning’s corporate presentation with a lesson in Swiss-German — and concluded it by kicking a football into the crowd to demonstrate the need for expert’s members to “play the game together”. Mathys set out the future vision of the world’s largest retail alliance, which is now active in 20 countries. “At the moment expert is about buying,” he said, “But we want to be more about selling and servicing.” To this end, the organisation is working to strengthen its relationship with its retail members, with the focus less on terms and conditions and more on the need to work together to increase market share. This was the first press conference that expert has held at IFA, but Mathys said the association not changed its image and was still a “low-key technical superstore”. He also announced that expert is now turning it attention to Eastern Europe. Hungary’s Bravotech has recently joined the expert family, Mathys said, and its 185 stores would be switching to expert branding and logos soon. Hall 1.2 Stand 124 In Search of the ‘Unique Twist’ Schoenfeld International is a boutique importing company focused on product development, purchasing, supply-chain execution and the creation of exclusive branded programmes for select customers. Company founder Lee Schoenfeld — formerly founding merchandiser and marketing senior executive of Best Buy in the US — explains why IFA is a pivotal event in Schoenfeld International’s calendar… Why do you come to IFA? To find unique products, ideas and merchandising concepts to apply in North America, as ‘borrowed’ from other global markets, most Lee Schoenfeld Founder Schoenfeld International notably Europe. Our modus operandi is walk through the displays — all of the displays in all the buildings. Then we meet with suppliers in the OEM buildings. What products are you interested in? All consumer electrical products qualify for investigation, but our primary focus is to find a unique twist within a product category. What, in today’s climate, are your biggest concerns as a buyer? With all the internet sources, coupled with continuing grand sourcing fairs like IFA, there has never been a better time to be a buyer. I have no great concerns. How important is IFA in your decision-making process? I know I’m sure to find opportunities at IFA that will drive our continued business expansion. It’s the most important trade fair that I attend — period. IFA International • Monday 9 th September 2013 19

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