The Italian consumer electronics and household appliances market is currently seeing increased competition linked, on the one hand, to the structural fragmentation affecting it, and on the other hand, to the increase in Internet penetration.

 

In 2015, the top three Italian operators (one of which was actually a purchasing group) accounted for 59% of the addressable market, compared with an average of 79% in the major European countries: Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

 

At the same time, the impact of online purchases of consumer electronics and household appliances increased, going from 10% in 2015 to 12% in 2016, albeit remaining far away from the figures observed in continental Europe (around 20%) and in Anglo-Saxon countries (above 30%). The change in consumer buying behaviour was emphasised by the recovery trend observed in the three-year period 2014-2016, after the period of stability following the global economic crisis, which hit Italy particularly hard between 2011 and 2013.

 

Both factors – fragmentation and digitalisation – are at the heart of a competition exacerbated by an exceptional level of promotions, which squeeze sector margins weighing particularly heavily on smaller operators and concentrating exclusively on a traditional type of distribution.

 

Unieuro, with a powerful national distribution network in terms of points of sale and a renovated digital platform integrated with stores in an omnichannel strategy, has an effective business model to deal with such a competitive situation. The strategy of centralisation and internal and external growth is the objective for market consolidation, in order to overcome the gap with other European countries to the benefit of the market itself.

 

Structure of the Market

 

The players operating in the market can be segmented into the following types:

 

MASS MERCHANDISERS

  • Large volumes, multi-category range, consumer electronics is not necessarily the core business
  • Hypermarkets, supermarkets, multi-category stores
  • Pure player digital operators

 

TECH SUPERSTORES

  • Consumer electronics is the core business
  • Large format stores (more than 800 m2 with a turnover of at least €2.5 million)
  • This mainly involves chains

 

ELECTRICAL SPECIALISTS

  • Consumer electronics is the core business
  • Small format stores (less than 800 m2 with a turnover of less than €2.5 million)
  • This mainly involves independent operators or small chains, affiliated to chains or purchasing groups

 

TELECOM RETAILERS

  • Specialists in the telecom category
  • They often offer products combined with telephony services

 

OTHER SPECIALISTS

  • IT specialists, but also photography and entertainment specialists
  • This often involves small format stores, located in town centres
  • Specialists in one or a few market categories

 

Unieuro operates in the consumer electronics retail market and is present specifically in the Tech Superstore channel, with its own direct points of sale concentrated in central and northern Italy and located mainly in commercial centres and suburbs, and in the Electrical Specialist channel, with points of sale smaller than 800 sqm and/or with a turnover of less than €2.5 million, often situated in the historical centre of cities and managed by franchisee entrepreneurs under the company banner.

 

In addition to playing a leading role in the consumer segment, the Company operates in the B2B segment and markets services (including extended warranties, delivery and installation, consumer finance) and products not belonging to the consumer electronics market.