Electronics retailer taps into Chinese growth

By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-03 07:48
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SHANGHAI - Leading European electronics goods retailer Media Markt is opening its first East Asian store in Shanghai this month, amid falling revenue in a saturated European market that has pushed many players to turn to emerging economies like China.

The first Media Markt China store will open on Nov 17, Ton Wortel, chief executive officer of Media Markt China, said during an exclusive interview with China Daily on Tuesday.

"The time is right for us to start our business in this great country with so many people and so many market perspectives for us," Wortel said.

Consumer spending power in China has overshadowed the European market, which the economic crisis has hit significantly, analysts said.

"Market growth in Shanghai is more than 25 percent this year, according to the consumer electronics product portfolio we are selling here," Wortel said.

"That's the main reason why we started our expansion plan here. The market has great potential to grow substantially in the next 10 to 20 years," he said.

China's electronics retail market is expected to be worth 150 billion euros ($209 billion) in 2013, and the Shanghai market alone will exceed 5.5 billion euros, according to Media Markt.

"Shanghai is the most important market to start from and if we are able to succeed in this highly competitive market, we will copy our success to other parts of China," Wortel said.

Wortel said Media Markt's first plan is to solidify its foothold in Shanghai in the next two years, before trying to open another five stores in 2011.

"Our first focus is to learn and understand how to adapt our business model to the Chinese perspective, and in the next two years, we will also define our further expansion strategy into China," Wortel said.

"Media Markt will not just open up stores in several cities in the first two years, we will further plan for expansion into China," he said.

"Succeeding in Shanghai will teach us how to develop our expansion strategy. We see perspectives to open up much more stores in cities in China because the country is so big," Wortel said.

The first Media Markt on Huaihai Road in Shanghai takes up a sales area of 9,500 square meters. The five-level store aims to provide products from the domestic and overseas markets, as well as special customer experiences in trying out the products in the store.

Over the last three years, the company has opened stores in Russia and Turkey. The Europe-based company started its business in 1979 and has opened 602 stores in 14 European countries.

China Daily