Current value sales for electronics and appliance specialist retailers in Austria are predicted to continue to decline over the forecast period. Improving consumer sentiment and increasing economic growth expected in the coming years are likely to drive mainly sales of electronics and appliance through internet retailing.
Low profit margins and extremely strong pressure from internet retailing are likely to lead to further decline in consumer electronics and appliance specialist retailers in Austria over the forecast period. The decline in outlet numbers will be marginally less drastic than witnessed during the review period, while the expected decline for selling space will be even stronger as the average floor space per store will decrease significantly.
The intense environment will affect first and foremost smaller, independent players. Towards the end of the review period, this was illustrated by the fate of the retailer HAAS Elektro GmbH.
With its Media Markt and Saturn brands, Media-Saturn Beteiligungs GesmbH continued to lead electronics and appliance specialist retailers in 2018 in Austria. A small number of store openings helped the company to ensure some value growth over the review period, while most individual stores registered rather stagnant performances.
Another example for the search for higher profitability per floor space unit was Saturn Express, an entirely new checkout-free store format that was tested between March and May 2018 at the Sillpark shopping centre in Innsbruck, Austria. Its selling space is only 120 sq m with a focus on trending products and impulse products including headphones, wireless speakers and accessories in consumer electronics, computers and appliances.
The most important new openings in electronics and appliance specialist retailers in 2018 was Austria’s first Apple store. The opening in February on Kärnternstraße, a popular location in the heart of Vienna, was accompanied with typical publicity, but also by protests against Apple’s tax policy and working conditions.
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