Electronics and appliance specialist retailers remained among the weakest retailing categories in the Netherlands in 2018, with another year of current value sales decline. Together with apparel and footwear specialists, electronics and appliance specialists were among the store types most heavily affected by the advance of internet retailing.
The main challenge to sales through electronics and appliances specialists was from the still-rising share of online spending on consumer electronics and domestic appliances. Partly this was due to the commoditised nature of these products, which allowed for relatively easy comparison of different products.
While the advanced state of online sales requires electronics and appliance specialists to have a solid online presence, the most promising strategy for them appears to be an omnichannel strategy. An omnichannel approach allows electronics and appliance specialists to reap the benefits the online channel offers, while remaining sufficiently distinct to be able to compete with pure online players, such as Coolblue or Bol.
Media Markt Saturn Holding Nederland BV continued to lead sales in 2018. In an overall declining category, the company successfully retained its store network, which resulted in a steadily increasing value share in electronics and appliance specialists.
Equally important – the company had fewer outlets than most of its direct rivals. Such a comparatively light store portfolio exposure meant that Media Markt Saturn Holding Nederland BV was less vulnerable to the increasing shift towards online sales: due to the lower outlet count, its stores tended to be located mostly in strategically favourable locations in larger city centres, where high footfall was almost guaranteed.
Given the continued decline faced by electronics and appliance specialist retailers, it is not surprising that, besides independents, some less successful brands were discontinued. After the demise of long-standing domestic player Scheer & Foppe in 2016, and Dixons in early 2017, The Phone House followed suit in late 2017.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.