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WEEKEND Edition - IFA International 2017

  • Text
  • Appliances
  • Global
  • Products
  • Berlin
  • Markets
  • Consumers
  • Philips
  • September
  • Consumer
  • Innovation
  • Www.cleverdis.com

TRADE TALK BROUGHT TO

TRADE TALK BROUGHT TO YOU BY Paul Whyte is Trading Director of UK-based internet retailer AO.com, which has seen strong growth in the UK. Outside of the UK, AO.com, which now sells MDA, SDA, CE and IT, has grown in Germany and the Netherlands. We asked Mr Whyte what product categories the retailer sees as being “sweet spots”… Within kitchen appliances we see the real opportunities as built in, cordless cleaners, coffee, and smart tech. The challenging and exciting journey we all face is how to weave together truly “connected” electrical products in a way that the consumer can understand and use to enhance their everyday lives. The AV and computing categories are also growing, with more manufacturers coming on-board. We have completely overhauled the way that this category is shopped online, by creating content that is unique to AO. We ensure that all content is helpful to the customer, as well as informative, engaging and easily digestible. What’s new in your organisation that could be worth mentioning? AO.com is a business that is always striving to make things easy for its customers – we are always pushing the Paul Whyte Trading Director of UK-based internet retailer AO.com AO.com Targets Controlled Growth boundaries but if I had to pick a couple of examples, it would be the launch of our transactional app and exploring new content formats such as virtual videos, again reinforcing our aim of making things easier for our customers onsite and beyond. BEING AN ONLINE RETAILER WE RARELY GET HANDS ON WITH PRODUCTS What are your main reasons for attending IFA? We attend IFA predominantly to catch up with our colleagues in the manufacturing sector who we don’t get to see very often. Being an online retailer we rarely get hands on with products, we leave that bit to our customers. It’s great to see what all the individual manufacturers have planned and it definitely heads up in the development of our future strategy. You always come home eager to bring what you’ve learnt back to the business. What are your biggest challenges? Our challenges predominantly are the short term softness of the market and maintaining a high pace of innovation and controlled growth. As we grow and expand into new territories and categories it’s really important to us that we do this in a very customer focussed way. We understand that simply doing an online listing is not good enough, you have to bring the products to life and excite everyone much as IFA is designed to do THE CRITICAL EYE – AND COMMENTS OF THE MEDIA AT IFA Each day in IFA International, we bring you feedback from media at the show, helping buyers and manufacturers get a better understanding of how they work at IFA. Vladimir Dmitrenko CEO of Golden Collection Publishing, Kiev, Ukraine A SHIFT FROM PUBLISHING TO PR Vladimir Dmitrenko is CEO of Golden Collection Publishing, based in Kiev, Ukraine. Established in 2001 as a publisher of computer magazines printed in the Russian language, Golden Collection Publishing has now moved its focus to providing public relation services and hitech event direction. How long have you been coming to IFA? We have been coming to IFA in Berlin since 2011. If find it very encouraging to see that IFA continues to grow and develop at a time when other exhibitions are experiencing a decline. What do you see as being the key trends in your field at the moment, and what are you looking for at IFA? Without a doubt, the key areas at the current time are around IoT, mobile, the digitalisation of business and the consumer’s passion for social networks and social media. How important is IFA for you in tracking trends? IFA is very important because at IFA there is direct contact with the consumer, and this can save the time and replace huge amounts of market research required for the design of new products and concepts. What advice would you give to a “first timer” coming to the show? Use the shuttle buses. Seriously, first-timers at IFA must actively work with the IFA app in order to make appointments, meet people and understand exactly how the event can help their business 24

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW SEB: Five Billion Euro Last Year… Over Six Billion Projected for 2017… Group Chairman & CEO Thierry de La Tour d’Artaise reveals his organisation’s keys to success SEB group goes from strength to strength in the field of small appliances, through both acquisitions and organic growth. With net results up by over 33% in the first half of the group’s financial year, one might ask, “just how far can it all go?” Group Chairman and CEO, Thierry de La Tour d’Artaise, talks to IFA International about his organisation’s perspectives for the future. Firstly, in 2016 we reached the five-billion-euro figure for the first time, and that was before the acquisition of WMF in Germany. Our business has been growing organically, primarily through product innovation. All the countries in which we are present have been growing, and all our product lines have been growing too, meaning we have had a good product flow in all categories. China has grown more than 15%. This is our number one market, with almost EUR1.2bn in sales, primarily through the local brand Supor. On top of that, 2016 has been the year of the acquisition of the 2 German companies, EMSA and WMF, although WMF is no included in the figures mentionned earlier as the signing only took place at the end of november. What do the acquisitions of WMF and EMSA change for the group? Let me explain the logic of these acquisitions. We decided, about three years ago, to strongly develop our position in the kitchen tools market, including conservation boxes, thermal mugs and so on. This is a big market and we were virtually not present there. So we began developing our own product lines, and looked at possible acquisitions to speed up our growth. EMSA was number one, because it’s a leader in the field in Germanspeaking countries (DACH). We were interested not only in the company’s position, but primarily in the competencies it has in these product categories. From now on, EMSA, within the group, is responsible for developing products in these categories for the whole group – for all companies and brands. It’s a small acquisition, but with huge potential and strategic importance. The big one is of course WMF in Germany. That is a different story. The reasoning behind this acquisition was that we wanted to become the market leader in cookware in Germany. Germany is mostly a market of pots made of stainless steel – as opposed to France which is a market of pans- and led by German players. The acquisition of WMF gives us the leadership position in this market. It also reinforces our kitchen tool business, as they have knives and a lot of gadgets that will be highly complementary to our other lines. It’s also just a magnificent brand. To us, WMF is the most beautiful brand you can dream of in the DACH market. Does this new “weight” or “size” give you new advantages in the marketplace? Indeed. The group, in its new perimeter, could well see turnover in the area of EUR 6.5bn this year, which is a real swing; a real increase in our size, and so that gives us of course economies of scale. on purchasing, manufacturing, operations (by better utilising our factories) and overheads. However, most of the synergies we envisage will be on the revenue side, especially by growing the WMF brand in many more markets than it is today, as it is still very much focused on Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and we are convinced there is a huge possibility in other countries. At the same time in Germany and the DACH countries, WMF can certainly carry a much wider assortment, both in cookware and SDA, and our teams, who are developing all these product categories, definitely can help WMF do it. As you can see, it is a fantastic project and we are all thrilled about it. I am already very happy to see that the cooperation between the teams is excellent and it is certainly coming from the fact that we are all sharing the same values, a culture of passion for our brands and products. The good start of 2017 is another reason to be optimistic Thierry de La Tour d’Artaise Group Chairman and CEO, SEB Group THE GROUP, IN ITS NEW PERIMETER, COULD WELL SEE TURNOVER IN THE AREA OF EUR 6.5BN THIS YEAR www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Saturday 2 nd & Sunday 3 rd September 2017 25

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