1 year ago

Week-end Edition - Day 2 & 3 - IFA International

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  • Appliances
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  • Berlin
  • September
  • Electronics
  • Lifestyle
  • Appliance

Trade Talk Focus on

Trade Talk Focus on Lifestyle is Key in the Omni-channel World Brand, design and emotion are more important than product specifications Germany’s EK/servicegroup is a retail co-operative with more than 4,100 affiliated owner-managed retail businesses. Established for some 90 years, today EK’s focus is to strengthen retailer relationships with customers at the point-of-sale. We asked Lutz Burneleit, Director, Home Appliances, how EK continues to adapt to changes in the marketplace 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 get a better understanding of how they work at IFA. At this stage in our business functionality and quality are required for both large and small electronic devices. The brand, design and emotion at the point of sale (POS) are what we focus on and we bring this out with our Electroplus concept – Electroplus focuses more on the lifestyle aspects of an appliance than its technical specifications. At the same time, the willingness of our members to collaborate among themselves, as well as with EK, grows. This strengthens our purchasing and sales activities and therefore our competitiveness. We are always looking for trends, new products and innovation Are there any negatives that you have to deal with? Everything has been stable for us in the first two quarters of 2015. If we have any concerns it is the effects of growing pressure on prices and margins. That is why we focus on service. With this emphasis, our retailers are able to play on their strengths. How is your organisation’s channel philosophy changing with time? Successful retailers are those who reach the customer on any level. Because of this, EK has developed an omni-channel platform called myWeb, which makes it possible to combine any on- and offline activities. Thus, we do not only support their physical stores but also their online expertise. How are you allowing for the growing complexity of products in the market when it comes to staff training and information? Lutz Burneleit Director, Home Appliances, EK/servicegroup Among other things, we focus on e-learning, offering seminars to our retailers and their employees through the EK Academy. There’s no easier or cheaper way to update your knowledge. To optimise the way we reach our target groups we are working on the implementation of user groups. The aim is to supply all users with the information they need. Why is it so important to be a close partner of IFA? As a co-operative our interest is to connect our partners from the trade and the industry. There is no other way to realise this than at the world’s biggest show for home appliances. At the same time, we are always looking for trends, new products and technical innovation. We also look forward to the conversations we have here with our retailers and potential future partners. Ljubisa Miodragovic Vice-President of European Imaging & Sound Association (EISA) and Editorin-Chief of Hi-Files – Serbia IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE BASE (THE SOUND BASE THAT IS…) Ljubisa Miodragovic is Vice-President of European Imaging & Sound Association (EISA). He is also editor-in-chief of Hi-Files, Serbian magazine for Hi-Fi, Home Theatre and Mobile Devices. We asked him what he is primarily seeking out this year at IFA. Personally I am very interested in novelties in Home Theater, especially in the audio segment. Just four years ago, we talked about 5.1-channel surround sound that somehow everyone forgot. Afterwards, everyone was talking about 3D sound, but nowadays all we hear about is sound bars and sound bases. I wish to see surround sound evolving in terms of quality and also practicality. But new TV’s will surely take all the glory at this year’s IFA. What are your key reasons for coming to IFA? I am visiting IFA since 2007 and I have never been bored. New technologies, new products and a lot of interesting people are all at the same place. IFA is the only place in Europe where you get to see all novelties in consumer electronics in just few days. Messe Berlin has fantastic organisation and it is easy to get around. What tips or advice would you give to international journalists visiting for the first time? Berlin ist meine Lieblingsstadt. Seriously, of all the places I have visited, Berlin is the city that always “calls” me back. If you are visiting Berlin for the first time, you must stay at least two days longer to explore this fantastic city. Inside IFA fair try to be organised. If you want to see everything, you will miss seeing it all. Come prepared. 22

Exclusive Interview A Vision for the Future The never-ending search for progress in the service of mankind The big topic for Siemens this year is connectivity, which is finally – truly – arriving in the home. We asked Roland Hagenbucher, CEO of SEG Hausgeräte to tell us more. We are presenting a complete range of connectivity-capable home appliances at IFA. The ovens and dishwashers launched on the market in 2014 are now being joined by connectivitycapable appliances from the areas of laundry care and refrigeration as well as a coffee machine. All of these appliances can be controlled via a single app, the Home Connect app. In fact, you could say: “the future starts here”. Siemens is setting the standard in this regard. No other provider can offer such a complete portfolio of networked home appliances or this kind of functional scope. That's because we are firmly convinced that digital technologies will be at the heart of the home of the future. They are already well on the way to becoming a mass phenomenon. More and more people across all age groups want smart home solutions. And it's not just about making everyday life simpler. Smart and connected home appliances give people in the digital age the certainty of being able to shape their lives exactly to their own personal tastes and to take the "everyday" out of everyday life. When will this all become "mass market"? The mass-market breakthrough will be reached in the coming years. The conditions for this are already in place, with the network being omnipresent today thanks to wireless technology and smart devices. The Association of the German Electrical Industry estimates that in Being "connected" means quality of life in the future and independence into old age (…) Germany alone, the market for smart home appliances will achieve sales revenues of 19 billion Euros in the next ten years. Which countries in the EU are picking up the fastest? All countries where we have launched our connected appliances on the market are developing well. The demand for connected ovens in the iQ700 series is especially high; not solely due to the connectivity aspect, but in general thanks to the added value offered by this new appliance generation. This ranges from faster preparation of food and intelligent sensors for better results to simple operation with or without an app. You've done surveys on people's attitudes towards the smart home/ appliance topic. What are the main findings? We said from the outset that connectivity is not just a topic for the very young generation, but for everyone. The trend report, which examines networking on a generation-specific basis, impressively confirms this. While the "millennials" between the ages of 16 and 35 are the most networkingsavvy, there is a huge demand for the time savings offered by smart appliances and integrated solutions across all generations, with 72% in favour. A third of those surveyed would prefer – regardless of the costs – to leave household chores to smart technology rather than a home help, while another third would rather continue doing housework themselves. What surprised us was the high potential identified in the study in the oldest group of over 55s. Being "connected" means quality of life in the future and independence into old age, which practically makes it the new anti-aging recipe. Which product areas are the most affected? Maximum benefit is achieved when people surrender not just individual tasks to connected technology, but rather entire processes. In the near future it will therefore no longer be about individual product categories and appliances, but about consistent linking of data Roland Hagenbucher CEO, SEG Hausgeräte that's relevant to everyday life across all devices in the home. Interfaces and general standards, as we have created with Home Connect, are becoming increasingly important. What "star" connected products can people see at your stand? The major highlight is no doubt the first connected refrigerator with a camera, the Siemens iQ500, allowing you to check what food is currently in the refrigerator anytime and anywhere. This is very useful, for example, if you happen to be in the supermarket and need to buy food for dinner – especially since everything is linked in one app to the cookbook and shopping lists of our connected ovens. Further highlights include our first connected washing machines and dryers with options for smart programme selection, optimum use of alternative energies, remote control and remote monitoring, and much more. IFA International • Saturday 5 th & Sunday 6 th September 2015 23

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