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Preview Edition - IFA International

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  • August


Trade Talk EXPANDING OMNI-CHANNEL STRATEGY Media-Saturn Group arrives at IFA with beefed-up online presence PRESS CORNER THE CRITICAL EYE – AND COMMENTS OF THE MEDIA AT IFA Each day in IFA International, we will be bringing you feedback from media at the show, helping buyers and manufacturers take the right direction in the coming months. INTO TOMORROW – AND BEYOND! The Media-Saturn Group is back at IFA this year wearing some “new hats”, having acquired a majority stake in Europe’s biggest live shopping platform and also expanding its digital business when it comes to content. In April, the group, Europe’s number one consumer electronics retailer, acquired a majority shareholding in Dutch live shopping platform iBOOD. com. The company is now run under the auspices of Media- Saturn’s Electronics Online Group (EOG). Media-Saturn is bringing together all existing and future online pure play activities within EOG in order to accelerate the group’s growth in e-commerce and to further expand its role as a leading omni-channel consumer electronics provider in Europe. The community already comprises 1.4 million members in eight European countries. In 2014, the company generated sales of approximately €36.4 million. A WHOLE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT ON A SINGLE PLATFORM Meanwhile, Media-Saturn is now also expanding its digital business when it comes to content. In the beginning of August, the company launched the entertainment portal JUKE in Germany. The launch of JUKE will allow this leading retailer of physical entertainment products to also provide a comprehensive digital offering in the future. Media-Saturn is now bundling the whole world of entertainment on a single platform under the JUKE brand, which previously comprised only the music streaming service launched back in 2011. The wide range of movies and TV series, music, e-books, PC games and PC software offered can be used on all of the most popular end devices. In addition to the continued high level of demand for physical entertainment products – especially in German-speaking countries – the offerings for downloading and streaming are now also on the verge of entering the mass market. "As by far the largest retailer of entertainment products, it is obvious that we also want to position ourselves on the market as the leading provider of digital content," says Wolfgang Kirsch, CEO of Media- Saturn Deutschland GmbH. "The previous download offerings on and as well as our music streaming service JUKE have performed extremely well in recent years. This makes the decision to now bundle and consistently continue to develop our digital offerings on the new JUKE entertainment portal a logical next step. JUKE is our own digital service, something no other consumer electronics retailer can offer. With JUKE, we are helping shaping the future of digital entertainment," continued Kirsch. Media-Saturn is also relying on its tightly woven network of stores in Germany, which currently comprises more than 260 Media Markt stores and approximately 160 Saturn stores, when it comes to marketing JUKE. Trained specialist advisors will be available to answer any questions that customers might have about the new entertainment portal. At the same time, it will be possible to put JUKE through its paces on a wide variety of end devices at the POS. “Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline” will be broadcasting from IFA for their 13th year in Berlin and is looking to promote many Exhibitors and chat about many of the new products being introduced and shown at IFA this year. Dave’s Producers are currently booking companies that have a variety of unique Consumer Electronics. There is never a charge to be a guest on “Into Tomorrow”! There are several ways to promote with “Into Tomorrow” during their special IFA broadcasts. Visit: remotes-v for more info and be sure to swing by Hall 24. As always, they are the biggest thing in the smallest hall. By the way, do YOU have our "Into Tomorrow" app? It's avail for iPhones/ iPods/iPads, Android devices, Kindle Fire and for Chromebooks! 26

Exclusive Interview New Challenge, New Face! Haier new European CEO works toward new roadmap at IFA Yannick Fierling was named at the helm of Haier Europe on 20 th March. A French national, Fierling follows predecessor René Aubertin as only the second European to be responsible for the overall management of Haier Europe, the European entity of Haier Group. His appointment reinforces the commitment of Haier to becoming a major player in the European market through a localisation strategy. We asked him to tell us more about his new role … I am very excited to be now at Haier, because we have a big challenge in front of us. Haier has a lot of ambition in Europe and I hope I will be able to fulfil and meet the expectations for this region. Haier is very big in Asia and is growing very significantly in North America, and we have been stagnating a little bit in Europe – for the past two years. However 2015 looks pretty good! We are aiming to get into the top five in Europe. For this we need to reinforce the strategy we have in place today and find new ways to get into this position. What will be your first tasks? First of all, it’s to gather information. I have been running through the different markets. I have of course been in China as well; I want to understand exactly the challenges we have in front of us, and then with the team to build a strategy to fulfil our ambition, which is, as I said, to enter into the top five. The biggest challenge we have is brand recognition. We have brand recognition of around 20% in Europe, and this is not enough. Today we have the right products. There is no doubt about that, but our brand is not recognised enough. But we are still pretty young. Time will help, but more than time, we need to do better in communication and be better at promoting our products to be better known across the different markets in Europe. You’re talking primarily about white goods, but also brown goods… My speech was about the entire product ranges Haier is offering, because I think one of the main strengths this company has is the range of products we are offering, because we have white goods, we have consumer electronics – TVs, tablets and phones, and we have been making tremendous progress in this field. When you look at the numbers for tablets and phones, the growth has been impressive for the past two years. And we have energy solutions, with heat pumps, solar panels, and AC. That’s giving a huge opportunity to this brand, because if you have this range of products and you are able to optimise them in one single room, you would fine a lot of opportunities to leverage this in communication. All companies are talking about the connected home, but as GfK points out in its most recent reports, innovation is what will drive the market. This seems to be what we are seeing at Haier… Is this your key differentiator? First of all, we have the luxury of having a wide range of products. Not all of our competitors have this luxury and I think leveraging this is very important. I agree that innovation is the biggest engine there is right now on the market in order to get your product recognised, and Haier is investing 4% of revenues into R&D globally. We have more than 8,000 engineers across the world working on our product, and the commonalities between the markets are much bigger than the differences. We need to address the differences, but the world is getting smaller and smaller. Products such as the double drum washing machine are answering specific consumer needs in terms of time and energy savings. And the new solid-state refrigeration technology is a real market breakthrough. I am sure we will be leveraging this across the different systems... it’s very environmentally friendly, too. Haier has been demonstrating for some years now that we are innovators, and with the new product launches at IFA this trend is accelerating. I think this year’s IFA is going to be a great one for Haier. Yannick Fierling CEO, Haier Europe Yannick Fierling joined Haier following fifteen years at multinational home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool, where he most recently acted as General Manager of the Fabric Care business unit and Vice President of Whirlpool EMEA. During his time at Whirlpool, Fierling occupied positions of increasing responsibility in Europe and North America. (…) we are innovators IFA International • Monday 31 st August 2015 27

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