1 year ago

Day 5 - IFA International

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Trade News The First Choice IFA: "One stop shop" for retailers THE DEAL MAKERS Sustainability is key to convincing customers to make new purchases says the Board member of Media-Saturn-Holding Polska Carrefour’s Guillaume Lignot Guillaume Lignot is responsible for purchasing television and video products for the French hypermarket giant Carrefour. He tells Richard Barnes why IFA is the crucial industry event of the season… IFA is perfectly targeted to my profession. It’s a good way to see all the products available in one category in one place at one time. IFA also gives you a really good overview of all the suppliers, not only the ones you are already working with, but also those that are available throughout Europe. How many appointments do you normally have at the show? I spend two or three hours with each supplier, so we have between 12 and 20 appointments during our three-day visit to IFA. We like to keep some flexibility, so we can fit in meetings with suppliers with whom we don’t have an appointment scheduled. How are green issues affecting your buying decisions? It’s something we are taking into account, but it’s not distribution that’s taking the lead in this area — it’s the manufacturers. Of course, we are interested in green products, because the end users are more and more aware of the environment. Consumers now know that, in TV sets, it’s possible to save energy for both the planet and themselves. What are you looking for at IFA 2011? We always keep an eye on interesting flat-TV design, because it’s the most visible thing. The second aspect is new technology, including 3D and smart TV. How important is IFA for you? It’s crucial. I normally go to three shows — IFA, the Hong Kong fair and the CES — but if someone told me I could only go to one, I’d choose IFA. It’s nearer, of course, but we also have more time here to discuss business with more people. Most of the sales managers and category managers are at IFA, so the level of communication tends to be deeper than at the other shows. The date of IFA is also important, being at the end of summer. We are more inclined to do sellup towards the end of the year, so this is when we want to see more flagship products, or products with more sophisticated design. That enables us to push higher prices during the second half of the year and especially for the Christmas period. Do you come here to sign deals? Not necessarily, although we do sign some deals directly. We are a centralised group, so we come to IFA to get a good overview of the market and, once we have seen where the industry’s headed, to plan our strategy for the end of the year. So IFA is more like a market survey — a “IFA is perfectly targeted to my profession. It’s a good way to see all the products available in one category in one place at one time ” way of understanding what the strategies are for the second half for the industry in each country. It helps you make up your mind. I was previously in charge of co-ordinating all our European buyers and, in this respect, IFA was always a good opportunity to meet colleagues from Spain, Italy, Belgium, Turkey and so on. What is your impression of IFA International? I’m quite interested in the industry research from, for example, GfK, that gives you an overview of markets in Europe. And I like the coverage of the ‘not to miss’ new products, because it’s a good way to ensure that you don’t leave IFA without having seen those innovations. MEDIA-SATURN-HOLDING POLSKA Marcin Rosati Member of the Board What is your reason for coming to IFA? This is my 10th IFA and my main reason for coming here is to keep updated on technical trends, designs and the strengths of particular producers. How they present themselves is a measure of their general performance and if they have an impressive stand they must be doing well. How long do you stay and how many appointments do you have? I arrive Friday morning and stay until Tuesday and make 2 or 3 appointments each day. I used to come for just 1 or 2 days, but with the addition of the Home Appliances section four years ago, now I have to come for four days to cover everything. How has sustainable development been affecting your buying decision? The economic downturn has made energy efficiency more important and sustainability is key to convincing consumers to make new purchases. With TV and Home Appliance penetration at over 100% in European households, we need to convince consumers that with energy saving devices they can recover their investment in 3-5 years. What new innovations are you purchasing at the moment? I have been looking very closely at the prospects for the tablet and smartphones market. It is very interesting to see how the producers are responding to what Apple does. I have been interested by Sony's new tablets, along with Samsung's Galaxy range and other brands new tablets. How important are IFA and IFA International for you? IFA is an absolutely must be at event. What is good is that it has the entire range of CE and HA goods and IFA International is a useful resource for highlighting the trends. I take every issues of IFA International home with me to catch up with anything that I might have missed at the show. IFA International • Tuesday 6 th September 2011 43

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