Düsseldorf, 16 March 2022 – The ElectronicPartner buying group kept up its strong performance even as the coronavirus pandemic continued for a second year. EP: specialist retail and the comTeam technology network made particularly good progress. The re-alignment of MEDIMAX is now complete, and initial moves have been made towards expansion. Overall, ElectronicPartner recorded adjusted turnover of €1.4 billion in 2021. That constitutes a slight year-on-year drop of 2%. ‘Our turnover in 2020 was 8% higher than in 2019. In light of this and given the ongoing challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, we can be enormously proud of our accomplishments in 2021. They are a reflection of the successful efforts of the entire buying group’, said Karl Trautmann, member of the executive board of ElectronicPartner, adding, ‘The work that our member companies, supplier partners and employees are doing in these testing times is truly remarkable. It is made possible by collaboration based on mutual trust, dedication and team spirit at every level. The crisis has made it plain that we have all of that in abundance.’
Continued international growth
The national ElectronicPartner organisations in Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland have handled the various coronavirus restrictions imposed in their countries adroitly and given the best possible support to their local employees. That has meant that the specialist retailers were able to generate combined turnover of €415 million, equating to an increase of 1.5% vs 2020. ‘When assessing this performance, we need to bear in mind the previous year’s excellent growth figure of 12%, which makes this further increase in turnover all the more satisfying’, said Trautmann.
EP: showing no signs of slowing down – 15.9% ahead of the market
EP: specialist retailers had likewise presented some tidy results in 2020, with turnover up 19.3% – the best result since the start of the quality campaign. That meant that the bar was high, but the skilful brand traders in the ElectronicPartner group nonetheless managed to continue the trend in 2021, achieving an increase of 11.8%. With that, EP: members performed better than the specialist retail channel, which recorded a decline of 4% in 2021, for the seventh year in succession.
MEDIMAX taking a proactive approach
2021 was challenging particularly for large-scale electronics retail because outlets were closed for up to five months in many places as a result of the pandemic. Collection points, delivery services and e-commerce could do only so much to make up for the lack of passing trade. ‘Like other players in this segment of the market, we have taken some losses in bricks-and-mortar retail. That much is evident from GfK research, which has revealed a drop of 11.6% for large-scale retail. Despite that, considering the overall situation, we are proud that the process of going private has been completed according to plan and that we can now set to work shaping the future of MEDIMAX alongside our dedicated franchise partners,’ said Friedrich Sobol, who is responsible for the MEDIMAX and EP: brands in his capacity as a member of the executive board. ElectronicPartner is planning to expand its specialist outlet franchise in the coming months and is taking action in various ways to secure partners for new locations.
Working from home and shielding continuing to have an effect on product demand
The ElectronicPartner buying group once again recording growth in white goods in 2021. In large appliances, many consumers opted for particularly high-quality models. Small appliances, especially coffee machines and cooking equipment, were very much in demand in various price categories, which can be attributed to the fact that many people are still shielding or choosing to spend more time at home. In contrast to 2020, the TV market posted less growth overall while average prices rose, with a general trend towards OLED technology and large screen sizes. Business with mobile products such as headphones, Bluetooth speakers, wearables, etc. was slowed by delivery problems with certain components. Manufacturers are forecasting that this situation will persist at least until the third quarter of 2022 and will have an impact on the unwavering demand for IT and multimedia products. Despite that, ElectronicPartner recorded considerable growth in this segment last year. Finally, in entertainment, the Playstation 5 and the Nintendo Switch, as well as their associated gaming accessories, proved to be strong drivers of turnover.
Summary and outlook
With forward-thinking projects such as the in-house GO GREEN sustainability initiative, the MEDIMAX expansion and the work to open up new areas of business at comTeam, the Düsseldorf-based buying group is continuing to move forwards in 2022. In doing so, it is actively responding to the requirements of the industry as well as to the needs of members and end customers. ‘Throughout its 85 years of history, ElectronicPartner has experienced various radical technical, economic and social changes, but has always faced the resultant challenges under its own steam and made the most of the opportunities that have arisen. The coronavirus pandemic is another chapter in this history, albeit a particularly dramatic one, and one that we are handling successfully and responsibly,’ said Trautmann.
ElectronicPartner is one of the largest trading companies for entertainment and household electronics, IT/multimedia and telecommunications in Europe. The association group has around 3,000 members throughout Germany, e.g. the EP: specialist dealers, MEDIMAX specialist stores and the technology network comTeam. ElectronicPartner supports them all in day-to-day business, e.g. through product range planning, marketing concepts or shopfitting. The company is also active on an international level, with national companies in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and as a member of E-Square, the international retail group. In 2022 ElectronicPartner celebrates its 85th anniversary.
More information can be found at www.electronicpartner.de