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Day 6 - IFA International

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Trade Talk IFA Signals Year-end Sales Sprint Conducting 360° marketing and creating a consistent quality programme From the market changes that hit everyone in 2013, ElectronicPartner uses a recipe of strategies and tactics to respond and consolidate its market position, a recipe that includes a year-end push starring IFA as well as 360-degree marketing. Business means change, and the CE business means even more frequent and deeper business change. Even for a more-than-abillion euro dealer group like ElectronicPartner. “We vowed to take a new proactive course of action in order to respond in an optimum manner to the constantly and everfaster changing conditions on the market,” said Friedrich Sobol, Member of the ElectronicPartner Management Board. Changes include shifting product focus to new categories, enabling its members to conduct 360-degree marketing, creating a consistent quality programme, and using events (existing ones and new EP-only events) to communicate the changes in strategy as well as in the market. While the market for TVs caved in last year, the group saw growth in large electrical appliances (sales increased significantly not only in comparison to the cooperation’s figures for the previous year, but also compared to the market average) and in mobile telephony (an increase in the quantity sold compared to the previous year by around 58%). “The TV and mobile-device segments in the sector of consumer electronics are increasingly merging,” points out Sobol. “For this reason, it is crucial that our members secure a strong foothold for themselves in the ever more important market for mobile telephony.” ElectronicPartner will concentrate, in the current financial year, on strengthening the EP:specialist trade at regional and local level. A 360-degree marketing approach assists retailers in expanding their position by means of printing and online media and PoS measures. Tools solely available to ElectronicPartner cooperation members – such as a comprehensive online catalogue or the Virtual Shelf digital sales and advisory tool – help to increase the range of products that specialist retailers are able to offer. ElectronicPartner strengthens the positions of its specialist retail trademark EP: and MEDIMAX specialist store line by a new commitment to uniform quality standards: “We are defining new and binding criteria for the EP: brand for the whole of Germany in future that will ensure a homogeneous image without constraining the strengths of individual specialist retailers,” explains Sobol. This includes not only the visual appearance in shops but also active participation in the 360-degree marketing concept and the stringent certification and marketing of customer services. Extensive quality assurance ensures common implementation of the campaign. “After launching new infrastructures within the ElectronicPartner Cooperation in the course of the last year, we are actively putting life into them and working on the further details in stages”, explains Sobol. These also include strengthening the merchandise sectors IT/ Multimedia and Consumer Electronics which now operate as independent areas. To position all its members for the run-up to the end of the year (the best business quarter) and to communicate changes and the very latest trend topics, ElectronicPartner depends upon the power of events. For 700 EP: partners in Germany, the starting shot is IFA in Berlin. “We are Friedrich Sobol Member of ElectronicPartner Management Board making attendance at IFA as pleasant as possible for our members – with an extensive catering range and the possibility of talking to experts from our Cooperation on subjects like the 360-degree marketing concept”. STRENGHT IN NUMBERS As a confederation whose members include about 5000 small and mediumsize company proprietors, ElectronicPartners sees itself as an ambassador for self-employed businesspersons. Apart from the national companies in which ElectronicPartner holds one hundred per cent of the shares, they are represented by partners on the markets in Finland (since 2000) and in Portugal (from 2011). At European level, ElectronicPartner continues its partnership with E-Square, which has meanwhile established itself as one of the leading service groups with 12,000 member retailers in 16 strategic markets of Europe. We vowed to take a new proactive course of action... IFA International • Wednesday 10 th September 2014 7

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