ElectronicPartner completes a profitable financial year

The ElectronicPartner buying group can look back on a profitable 2023 financial year in which the three core brands – EP:specialist retail, MEDIMAX superstores and the technology network comTeam – successfully handled the generally challenging market trend.

[Translate to englisch:]

EP:specialist retail ahead of the market again
MEDIMAX beats the market and posts significant online growth
comTeam celebrates 40th anniversary


“Although we couldn’t entirely escape the negative market developments in Europe, we are satisfied with the performance of our member companies,” sums up ElectronicPartner executive board member Karl Trautmann.


The buying group as a whole generated adjusted central turnover of €1.2 billion in 2023, representing a decrease of 4.5 per cent. The national organisations in Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands had more difficulty contending with the industry challenges than the operation in Germany. Internationally, there was a decline of 6.9 per cent as compared to -3.5 per cent in Germany.


EP:specialist retailers beat the market for ninth time in a row

The aftereffects of the previous years of high turnover, in which people stocked up liberally on everything that could make their homes more comfortable, can still be felt in German electronics retail. According to figures from GfK, this sales channel saw an even sharper fall in turnover than in 2022 at around 11 per cent. The members of the EP: brand performed considerably better here at -7.5 per cent, but were also impacted by the post-covid effect. “Looking at the development of the individual product areas in electronics retail, all categories – except for small white goods – posted a negative trend in turnover. Our EP:business owners nonetheless managed to achieve better results than average in six out of eight categories – especially for TV sets,” explains Friedrich Sobol, the member of the ElectronicPartner executive board responsible for the EP:brand. The buying group also achieved some initial success with regard to another challenge that is currently affecting the entire owner-managed specialist retail sector: business succession. In the “Partner werden” campaign that has been running since September 2023, four specialist stores have already been handed over to the next generation and another three projects are in progress.


Slight decrease in turnover for MEDIMAX overall

For the second year already, MEDIMAX franchise partners showed that local, dedicated entrepreneurship pays off. Since the realignment was completed in 2022, the line of specialist stores has been performing better than large-scale retail in Germany as a whole. MEDIMAX’s turnover in 2023 was 2.4 per cent higher than the figure reported by GfK for this sales type. Friedrich Sobol, who is also responsible for MEDIMAX, adds: “In large-scale retail, the GfK turnover figures in the individual product areas in 2023 were better than in specialist retail – and MEDIMAX did even better than average here in all categories except multimedia.” Another positive development was that while the online turnover of tech superstores in Germany was down 4.7 per cent overall, the MEDIMAX online shops generated 2.3 per cent more turnover than in the previous year. “We are delighted that our online strategy is working and that the focus has successfully remained on drive-to-store and thus on bricks-and-mortar business,” says the executive board. In addition, the MEDIMAX brand and thus the associated franchise partner concept achieved further successes in 2023: two new stores were opened, two locations integrated high-quality kitchen ranges and eight stores were completely modernised. “The fact that our franchise partners are investing so much in their businesses is exemplary and also shows that we are providing them with the right support,” says Friedrich Sobol, adding: “Our goal is to keep impressing them, so that by the end of 2026 we are managing around 100 MEDIMAX stores in Germany with new and existing partners.”


comTeam celebrates 40th anniversary

Although comTeam’s turnover was down minimally by -0.5 per cent year-on-year in 2023, it was still above the pre-pandemic level. And the technology network has every reason to celebrate in 2024: comTeam has been in business since 1984 and has thus experienced and helped shape the IT developments in our society right from the start. This year, the group will celebrate that fact with some 800 partners at a wide range of events, specialist meet-ups and the big partner conference at Phantasialand in mid-October. “comTeam is known for being different and special, an IT group full of innovative minds, forward-thinking ideas and, above all, lots of passion. This is something that you can feel in every new project and network event, online and especially live – for example, at the partner conference that will combine knowledge transfer, personal dialogue and inspiration in an especially big way this year,” says Matthias Assmann, the member of the ElectronicPartner executive board responsible for IT and comTeam.


Summary and outlook

Despite a significant decline in consumer sentiment with regard to electronics products, the member companies of ElectronicPartner managed to close 2023 with respectable results. “We don’t want to sugarcoat it: when the general situation is difficult, the market is declining and we can nonetheless report better figures than average, that is nothing for us to brag about,” sums up Karl Trautmann. “But it also means that we have adapted to the unalterable conditions, responded to them actively and made the best of them!” he emphasises. “That goes for our employees, our partners and the teams at ElectronicPartner – and we can certainly be proud of this!” Friedrich Sobol adds: “The fact that we keep managing to operate consistently profitably together, even in challenging times, shows how responsibly and foresightedly we act throughout the ElectronicPartner group. We invest thoroughly in future-proof realignment at an early stage, optimise processes, get everybody on board, and also make difficult decisions where necessary that lead to consolidation but long-term continuance.”

For 2024, the buying group is already implementing various projects and measures to continue providing affiliated business owners with the best possible support. These include the new specialist group WENDEpunkt, which allows members to benefit from the growth market of renewable energy, as well as strategic concepts for business succession and the acquisition of new member companies. The “New Work” concept launched at the ElectronicPartner headquarters in early 2023 is also bearing fruit already – 35 hours, a four-day week, remote working and a modern office environment are leading to more applications from qualified specialists. “And they enrich our team, help us position ourselves successfully for the future and thus do the same for all those who place their trust in us as their strong partner,” says Karl Trautmann.