In terms of sales, Media-Saturn is METRO GROUP’s second-largest sales line and number one among consumer electronics stores in Europe. Media Markt, Saturn, the online retailer Redcoon, in which Media-Saturn increased its stake to 100 per cent in June 2013, and the Russian online shop belong to the group of companies. These sales brands carry out business autonomously in the marketplace. Europe’s leading provider of technology for the distribution of digital content, 24–7 Entertainment, is also part of the sales line. In addition, Media-Saturn holds a stake in xplace, a technology service provider with a leading position in the European market for interactive customer information, as well as in Flip4New, Germany’s leading provider of used electronic products. The sales brands Media Markt and Saturn are characterised by attractive prices, a large selection of innovative products, a comprehensive assortment of top brands and own brands, outstanding service and creative, eye-catching advertising. A decentralised organisational structure, dedicated staff and entrepreneurial boldness are the heart of the sales brands’ philosophy. They underpin the international growth of Media-Markt and Saturn. The two sales brands apply a multichannel marketing approach in which the stationary business is closely linked to corresponding online shops. Redcoon and, on the other hand, are positioned as discount providers of electronic products and sell these exclusively online. At Flip4New, customers can exchange used electronics for shopping vouchers at and at all Saturn stores in Germany. In addition, both Media Markt and Saturn offer this service in the Netherlands and Austria, and Media Markt offers it in Sweden.

A culture of competition

The independence of Media Markt, Saturn and from each other nurtures competition between the companies and boosts their performance. In addition, the individual Media Markt and Saturn consumer electronics stores are generally positioned as independent companies in which the local managing director holds a stake of up to 10 per cent. This results in broad decision-making freedom and flexibility. For example, advertising campaigns, product selection and personnel planning are managed directly by the individual consumer electronics stores. Staff also have a high degree of independence in the operating business. This increases identification with the company, strengthens motivation and encourages – not least – customer orientation. After all, employees are in direct contact with customers and have a first-hand understanding of their needs and local business conditions. The organisational structure of Media Markt and Saturn ensures that employees can react flexibly to local conditions.

Comprehensive selection and service

Media Markt and Saturn view themselves as trendsetters in their sector, a fact that is reflected in the product range, product displays and store design. The entire assortment in flagship stores – marquee stores in excellent locations – includes up to 100,000 items, particularly small and large electronic devices as well as entertainment electronics and media. The sales brands also offer services such as financing, warranty extension, repair and disposal of old devices and appliances. Under the umbrella of “Power Service”, Media Markt and Saturn provide a number of additional services, including delivery, setup, data recovery, inspection of built-in units and satellite systems, and maintenance packages. The selling space in the consumer electronics stores ranges from 1,000 to 18,000 square metres.

Dual online strategy

Consumers are increasingly going online to learn about products and to obtain goods and services. The Media-Saturn group of companies has responded to this trend in its dual online strategy. While Media Markt and Saturn increasingly serve customers both at stationary stores and in online shops, Redcoon and have exclusively positioned themselves as online retailers. The objective is to also lead the European market in online consumer electronics retailing.

A core element of this effort is multichannel marketing. Media Markt and Saturn customers can choose to purchase products online from home, with their smartphones while on the go or in their local consumer electronics store. Products can be ordered online and, if available, picked up on the same day at the nearest store. If a customer needs additional assistance with the product purchased online, he or she can also get this at a selected Media Markt or Saturn store. In some cases, service packages can also be booked online. In selected countries, Media Markt and Saturn have improved their online offering for smartphones so customers can shop while they are on the go. Multichannel marketing efforts will also be systematically expanded. As of the end of the short financial year, customers in 13 countries were able to shop online at Media Markt and Saturn: in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

The second core element of the online strategy of Media-Saturn is pure online retailing. The sales brand Redcoon, one of the largest German-language online discounters for television sets, household appliances, computers, notebooks, smart-phones, digital cameras and stereos, is represented in a total of ten European countries. With Redcoon, Media-Saturn can target price-conscious consumers who shop online. In Russia, Media-Saturn does business in this segment by way of the company, which joined the group of companies in July 2012.

Furthermore, Media Markt and Saturn have been offering digital products – including music and film files, video games, computer programs and e-books – on the Internet for several years now. Through a subscription system, the online service JUKE operated by 24-7 Entertainment GmbH provides customers with unlimited access to more than 20 million music titles – via computers, smartphones and tablets as well as selected digital home entertainment systems.

Own-brand family completed

In 2010, Media Markt and Saturn began to offer own brands in Europe: “ok” for the budget price segment and “KOENIC” for high-quality small and large household appliances. Media-Saturn also introduced the “PEAQ” brand for consumer electronics as well as the “ISY” brand for accessories. There are currently nearly 450 own-brand items available for sale. As a result, the consumer electronics stores cover all price segments and an array of product categories. To assure the highest possible product quality, the sales line works closely with well-known brand-name manufacturers. Own-brand products are available in most countries where Media Markt and Saturn operate stores. Media Markt and Saturn are also gradually including these products in the assortments of their respective national online shops.

Strong marketing campaigns

Media Markt and Saturn are known for their spectacular advertising campaigns and memorable slogans – in Germany and in other countries, too. Media Markt and Saturn advertisements are designed to inform, entertain, polarise and attract people. During the year under review, the sales brands once again launched marketing campaigns that caught people’s attention. At the end of September, Media Markt announced a temporary closing of its German stores and launched a six-day clearance sale at all stores and online. The consumer electronics store used the 48 hour time frame on 2 and 3 October 2013 to fill its shelves with a new product assortment and to garner public attention for the attractive deals it offered during the subsequent reopening. For its part, Saturn further refined its brand message “Soo! muss Technik” (Technology: the way it has to be!). The campaign spotlights the sales brand’s passion for and expertise in technology. Media Markt and Saturn have aligned their marketing concepts with the multichannel marketing strategy and are expanding their social media activities. In addition, Saturn regularly publishes the free customer magazine “TURN ON”, which unites print and online media. For its part, Media Markt is increasingly focusing on integrating all media. In the process, the sales brand will fill the various channels with content depending on the needs. Redcoon continued the campaign it launched in 2012 under the slogan “So viel billig gab’s noch nie.” (There’s never been so much so cheap.) during the short financial year.

Dynamic expansion

In Europe, Media-Saturn is number one in consumer electronics retailing. As of the end of September 2013, the sales line had 948 stores in 15 countries and operated a pure online sales channel in two additional countries. In the short financial year, Media-Saturn had six more consumer electronics stores than on 31 December 2012. Media-Saturn will continue to expand and open additional stores in Germany and around the world during 2013/14. A particular focus will be placed on growth markets such as Russia and Turkey. The online offering will also be expanded. Media Market discontinued its business activities in China during the short financial year. This decision was based on the experiences and forecasts of the two-year test phase that ended in late 2012.