ElectronicPartner is a contender in difficult market circumstances

The turbulent and challenging 2018 financial year is also reflected in the various partial results of the ElectronicPartner buying group. While the respective, international, country-based organisations and the EP: brand registered increases in turnover, business overall decreased slightly. Karl Trautmann, member of the ElectronicPartner management board, explains why: “On one hand, in the German market in 2018 we concentrated even more on our core competency: qualified, specialty retail. On the other hand, we laid the foundation for the future in the large MEDIMAX space and developed new concepts”.

  • Upswing continues for specialty retail brand EP:
  • Success in international business

Overall, the buying group completed the financial year with core sales of 1.659 billion euros, which was just slightly less than the previous year (-2.1%). The core market in Germany accounted for 1.266 billion euros, with 393 million euros attributable to the European national organisations. This is equivalent to growth of 2.1% in comparison with 2017 in the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.

EP: brand in the black and 7.5% above the market
Since the quality campaign was initiated in 2014, the EP: sales line turnover has increased every year. Particularly notable is the evolving success story in the context of the declining market in the specialty retail channel. According to the GfK marketing research company, in the previous year this market registered a decrease of 6.0%, so with increased turnover of 1.5%, EP: specialty retail developed overall 7.5% better than the market did.

“The success of the EP: brand is clearly due to the quality campaign. High quality PoS, expert consultation and continuous presence at all contact points to the customer are definitely paying off”, says Karl Trautmann regarding the results. To continue along this path in the current year as well, the buying group is implementing a new concept for its specialty retailers. The EP:Campus is a training platform that supplies customised modules about industry development, product knowledge and commercial expertise.

New concepts for large retail outlets
In order to develop the MEDIMAX brand with consistent success as well, the buying group is exploring new pathways in 2019. In addition to his responsibility for “Kooperation Deutschland” and retail sales, Friedrich Sobol, also a member of the ElectronicPartner management board, has taken over the direction of MEDIMAX. In the coming months, he will be putting into place an attractive, high quality product range and yet more improvement in consultation expertise for the brands, among other changes.

35th anniversary for comTeam
In 2018, the technology network comTeam, with around 800 partners, again achieved positive sales performance. Even 35 years after it was founded, comTeam continues to adapt successfully to market changes and makes its own distinctive mark. In this context, growr, the network for start-ups, continues to experience more and more influx, now connecting over 300 business founders.  

Differences among product groups
This year, the buying group is particularly satisfied with the growth rates in the strategically significant telecommunications business. Specifically at MEDIMAX there was a positive development in this product segment via the subsidiary SH Telekommunikation Deutschland GmbH. The same applies for advanced TV equipment with large screens and particularly for OLED technology. The area of small electronic devices also experienced positive development. With the overall market trend, the significance of physical image and sound carriers has decreased sharply.
“In 2018, the industry faced many challenges: from the sunniest summer in a century to a football world cup that didn’t live up to expectations. We are happy that, in this context, we were able to register positive development in many areas. For everything else, we have prepared ourselves strategically and operationally and are actively pursuing our ongoing work,” says Karl Trautmann, taking account of the year.