1 year ago

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

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Trade News “Innovation coming through from suppliers is extremely important. You have to give the customer a reason to upgrade and renew their products.” is around white goods, but I will also spend some time on CE with companies such as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic amongst others. What are some of the more exciting trends in white goods at the moment? A lot of it is around product design, the opportunity to give customers better choices in higher spec products and have clear differentiation within a range. There are new entrants into the market. Alongside the traditional suppliers such as BSH, Indesit and Miele, Manufacturers in Korea are coming at it from a completely different angle. The white goods market is now coming back into a bit of growth and we have to decide who we think has got an edge. UK customers in particular are influenced by how cool the product looks. On the CE side, we are seeing bigger screens and the arrival of large size OLED. What are your thoughts on these? Customers are increasingly looking for bigger screen sizes. Now that we are losing the bezel around the edge, a much bigger screen size fits into the same space as before. Then there is the evolution of Smart TV and 3D. OLED is exciting and really cool. In its initial stages it won’t be selling in huge volumes, but you can see that it is going to add a new facet to a market that went through huge growth as people converted from CRT to flat panel. As we slip into a new replacement cycle, you need innovation to encourage customers to upgrade their TVs. How important is sustainability in your decision making process? Sustainability is always a key feature and a selling point and one of the challenges we face is how to get that over to the customer. In the Nordic markets and Germany, it’s one of the key features that people consider. In the UK we keep pushing it in terms of energy and water efficiency and UK customers are increasingly considering the benefits of energy efficiency which in itself leads to considerations around sustainability. In the five years you’ve been coming to IFA, what are the main trends that have affected you? I have seen a lot of convergence and an emergence of stronger innovation. In this time of recession, you have to give the customer a reason to upgrade and renew their products. One of the big challenges we all face, particularly in the UK, is that customers have been looking for value products and that has often limited their desire to buy higher spec products. The fact that there is innovation coming through from the suppliers is extremely important, and this is showcased very well at IFA. Currys and PC World – an important part of the Dixons Retail group THE DEAL MAKERS Indigo buyer, Greg Taylor, seeks interesting start-ups and bespoke manufacturers at IFA 2012 INDIGO Greg Taylor Area director eReading & Electronics at Canada's Indigo Greg Taylor, Area director eReading & Electronics at Canada's Indigo Books & Music, will be attending IFA for the first time, looking for engaging content and the sort of stylish, unique products that smaller companies specialise in... Since we established our retail electronics business - which is focused on interesting and unusual lifestyletype products - part of my job is to look for devices that are different and original. It’s never easy to find those diamonds in the rough, but I am hoping that my first ever trip to IFA will enable me to source the sort of sophisticated and stylish products that Europe is especially known for and associated with. We already have a great relationship with Italian accessories manufacturer Tivoli, and both we and our customers love what they do, but we are looking to expand that side of the business, so that will form a major part of my mission in Berlin. Clearly you won’t find me looking at the latest products from the big brands because that is not Indigo’s area, I’m after the second-tier manufacturers. What made you decide to come to IFA? Mainly it was the size of the event and the dates that influenced me. IFA happens at a very good time in terms of my global travel schedule, and because I’m keen to minimise my long-haul business trips, IFA being in early September is very convenient. It’s a perfect precursor to my trip to China in October. I am really looking forward to meeting as many vendors as I possibly can. Dixons Shop-in-Shop Overkoopt How many days are you going to attend IFA? I’ve put aside two days for the event, followed by a further day to see the historical sites of Berlin. IFA International • Saturday 1 st & Sunday 2 nd September 2012 41

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