The eighth dealer conference took place in Wiesbaden on May 20, 2022 and was the first conference after the Corona period. Günter Althaus, former CEO of the ANWR Group, started right from the start and prioritized the topic of sustainability as the most important topic for the next few years: “If we as dealers don’t take up the topic now and implement it for customers, we will lose.” And the answer to the question of whether second-hand is becoming important for brick-and-mortar retailers was clear: “Of course, vintage shops are springing up everywhere in Berlin. This shows that the concept works and that we are not allowed to sleep.”
In his speech, Prof. Oliver Janz was emphatic about the topic of new marketing for more customer loyalty: “Very few retailers have implemented the topic of shopping experience well, and I also get recommendations online that don’t fit at all. You really have to play the brand and the products consistently,” says Janz. Axel Liebetrau enthusiastically campaigned for more courage to break new ground: “As retailers, we have to arouse emotion and curiosity in addition to the product. If I’m to feel comfortable in the city, gastronomy, events and shopping have to go hand in hand.”
The morning ended with the outlook from Dr. Dominik Benner, CEO at The Platform Group, on the direction of the group: “We are growing to over EUR 250 million this year and will cover at least 17 industries with platforms. There are now 350 employees at 10 locations.” Despite the restrained customer purchases in eCommerce, online sales at TPG are growing in the first quarter of 2022. At the same time, the most important trends in trade were outlined: the delay in delivery now affects more than 35% of manufacturers, and many suppliers are still making price increases. The growth comes from all 15 sectors: the shoe sector therefore accounts for 20%, the largest sector is fashion, furniture, machines and car parts. The latest participation, EMCO e-scooters, were also represented at the conference and all participants were able to test drive the scooters. A total of 15 exhibitors took part in the conference and presented their solutions and products in the Kurhaus.
The 130 retailers then took part in 16 workshops and sessions in order to follow retail trends in detail. This is how Ellen Wigner impressively presented the topic of enthusiasm through events: “The concept only works if events also become part of the company’s DNA.” Andreas Unger, Managing Director of Hutter & Unger, used the app’s possibilities to show how retailers can get their regular customers off the sofa and into the store again.
The day ended with Jan Schepers from L&T (Lengermann & Trieschmann from Osnabrück), who emphasized the enthusiasm for customer loyalty through new projects such as gastronomy, surf waves and events as the key to success. The dealers then exchanged views on ERFA topics, improvements and ideas for growth with those responsible at The Platform Group. Jürgen Hanke emphasized the topic of data in particular: “Our data pool will make it possible to identify bestsellers and the causes of returns even better in the future. This increases the margin and in this way we help dealers to stock new brands and models.” The evening ended with Wine & Dine in the lounge at the Wiesbaden Kurpark.