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Day 6 - IFA International

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Trade News Harrods Elevates CE Department in Quest to Become 'The Ultimate Shopping Experience' Partnership with Dixons to see CE chain oversee Harrods in-store multi-brand offer David Miller Director Sound and Vision Harrods The Consumer Electronics (CE) department of London's prestige luxury store Harrods is undergoing a complete refurbishment as an integral part of a project to create 'the ultimate shopping experience'. The revamp follows the acquisition of Harrods by Doha-based Qatar Holding, for £1.5bn from Egyptian businessman Mohamed al-Fayed in May 2010. Qatar Holding is the direct investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, set up in 2005 to diversify the emirate’s assets away from oil and gas. "We are embarking on a multi-million pound refurbishment that will be completed in March 2012," said David Miller, Director of Harrods Home, Furniture, Toys, Sound & Vision. "We are relocating the CE department to a 22,000 sq ft area on the 3rd floor and its new entrance will be located right next to the Egyptian escalator." The new department will be split into a multi-brand area, managed as a joint venture by the UK CE retail chain Dixons, and a luxury lifestyle zone run on a concession model with dedicated areas for Bang & Olufsen, Loewe, Porsche Design and Vodafone. "We signed a groundbreaking and major agreement with Dixons in July to operate “The deal will enable us to gain from the bulk buying power that Dixons has.” the multi-brand area, which will include products from Apple, Sony and Samsung amongst others. The deal will enable us to gain from the bulk buying power that Dixons has." The area will not be branded as a Dixons concession, however the chain will supply the staff. Harrods has an agreement with Sony to exclusively showcase the new Sony Tablet S and Tablet P. "We will have them in-store from this Thursday (8 September 2010), whilst the rest of the UK retailers will not have them until the end of the month,” said Bassam Zaku, Divisional Merchandise Manager at Harrods. “We will be dedicating three street level window displays to highlight Sony's launch into the tablet market in addition to a direct E-marketing campaign." Harrods' David Miller usually spends three days at IFA meeting with key partners. "The scale of IFA gets bigger every year,” said Miller. “The Loewe, Sony THE DEAL MAKERS "I have to see the trends at IFA and what products are needed by the consumer for the future. I can do this at IFA, and so I can be one step ahead of the customer." HIMART Gyeong-Sun Kim, General Manager, White Goods Merchandising Team and Panasonic stands are impressive this year. There are some good design ideas showcased by Panasonic and Loewe have some great prototypes including the rotating TV that turns 90 degrees lengthwise for surfing the web and the mirror TV. At the accessory end of the market, I liked the 100% waterproof sleeve for smartphones and cameras from Korea's DiCAPac." Harrods’ customers are high end and, according What is your reason for coming to IFA? The reason is that the IFA is the most important exhibition of the consumer electronics industry at the moment. I want to experience the technology and the future of consumer electronics through the exhibitor’s products and the companies. Is there anything you’re specifically looking for while you’re here? Smart TV, 3D TV and home appliance products. The brands I am looking at include Samsung, LG, Philips, Panasonic, Haier and Changhong. What products are inspiring you at the moment? I am very impressed by the combination of 3D and network games. It’s a much better experience for the customer and more realistic. But Smart TV is the most impressive product I’ve seen at IFA. It’s bigger, and with much clearer definition. How important is IFA to you? The responsibility of Himart is to offer the customer the best product. Himart has 30% market share of the electronics goods market in South Korea, and is the retail market leader. I have to see the trends at IFA and what products are needed by the customer for the future. I can do this at IFA, and so I can be one step ahead of the customer. to Miller, have not been affected by the recession. The last published results for Harrods showed global turnover of £751.7m to the year end February 2009 (up almost 10% on the previous year) and last year CE turnover at the store was £37.5m. "3D TV has been massive for us this year. 90% of the TV sets that we sold with screens of more than 40-inches have had 3D capability. This reflects a clientele that wants the latest innovations." www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Wednesday 7 th September 2011 43

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