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Retailer News

Media-Saturn Bundles Online Efforts

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Media-Saturn Bundles Online Efforts

Media-Saturn announces the Electronics Online Group (EOG), essentially a bundle of all its online pure-play activities with redcoon at its core and German comparison portal Idealo founder Martin Sinner as CEO.

According to the retailer the EOG will focus on growth via acquisitions and new online concepts, such as specialist web shops offering "hot trends" such as wearables and other future devices. Each pure-play concept will have own positioning in terms of pricing, product range, services and lifestyle relevance, and thus target different customer segments.

"In addition to Media Markt and Saturn's online activities, we also want to make our mark on the online pure-play market," Media-Saturn CEO Pieter Haas says. "Based on the Media-Saturn Group's purchasing power and redcoon's logistics in Erfurt, we see major growth opportunities for pure players like redcoon but also for new online concepts and acquisitions in this sector."

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Media Markt Trials CE Drive-In

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Media Markt Trials CE Drive-In

The newly opened Media Markt flagship store in Ingolstadt promises to be not only the retailer's most modern outlet yet, but also the first with a feature more associated with fast food restaurants-- a drive-in service.

The concept runs in a similar fashion to the way it does in the catering industry. Customers order products via either website or Media Markt app before get in their cars, drive down to the Ingolstadt store, present their order confirmation and pick up their purchases.

Customers wary of online shopping can also pay at the drive-in.

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Microsoft to Open NYC Flagship Store

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Microsoft to Open NYC Flagship Store

Microsoft cements its retail ambitions as it confirms plans for a Manhattan flagship store-- one at 677 Fifth Avenue, a glitzy shopping corridor just a few blocks south of the Apple's famous Manhattan Store.

"As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience," the company tells the Wall Street Journal. "This is a goal we've had since day one-— we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it."

The location is a well known high-end retail destination, one commanding eye-watering rents averaging at around $2749 per square foot, according to the WSJ.

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Dixons Carphone, EE, Vodafone to Divide Phones 4u

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Dixons Carphone, EE, Vodafone to Divide Phones 4u

According to Bloomberg, Dixons Carphone, EE and Vodafone are set to buy at least some shops from Phones 4u, which shuttered down last week following the loss of business from mobile networks, including EE and Vodafone.

EE plans to buy 58 stores and take 359 employees, pending court approval, and is reportedly also set to buy the Phones 4u Life mobile service resale business.

On the other hand Vodafone says it will buy 140 shops and take on around 900 employees, pending court review of the sale.

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Best Buy Struggles Against Online

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Best Buy Struggles Against Online

Best Buy reports fiscal Q2 2015 revenues of $8.9 billion, a -1.5% Y-o-Y decline with overall sales falling by -2.7% Y-o-Y, a downturn the retailer attributes to customers preferring online to brick-and-mortar shopping.

However Best Buy still describes such results as "better than expected," if  only through the benefit of cost reduction initiatives such as Renew Blue.

Best Buy CE sales are down by -2.5% Y-o-Y, with softness in the mobile phone category ahead of future product launches. The retailer forecasts further low-single digit declines for Q3 and Q4, as per current industry trends.

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Amazon's Next Purchase: Game Streaming

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Amazon's Next Purchase: Game Streaming

Amazon announces its next (quasi) billion-dollar acquisition-- video game live streaming service Twitch. The price? $970 million in cash.

As it stands Twitch is all of 3 years old. It spun off from live-streaming site Justin.tv, a service shuttered down earlier this month. It allows gamers to share play to live audiences, and while that might not sound like much on July 2014 alone it boasted over 55 million visitors, with over 1 million broadcasters streaming over 15 billion minutes of content. And such numbers are surely valuable to Amazon in its quest to push content on its mobile devices.

Currently Twitch users can broadcast gameplay sessions on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

"Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon," Amazon boss Jeff Bezos says. "Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month-- from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3."

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Haas Remains Media-Saturn CEO

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Haas Remains Media-Saturn CEO

The Metro Group wins one in the struggle for control over Media-Saturn-- the Inglostadt district court rejects Media-Saturn founder Erich Kellerhals' demands for the replacement of current CEO Pieter Haas.

According to the court's Chamber of Commerce the appointment of Haas was neither "in bad faith nor unreasonable," meaning he retains his job as CEO… if for the time being.

The Metro Group, of course, welcomes the decision-- unlike Kellerhals, who as powerful minority shareholder already drove not one but two CEOs to throw the towel in his Game of Thrones for control of the CE retailer.

Kellerhals is not too happy with Haas as CEO. "In one interview after another [Haas] boasts of supposedly having a new strategy,"  the grand old man wrote on his website. "In closer inspection all turns out to just hot air."

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Amazon Launches Online 3D Printer Store

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Amazon Launches Online 3D Printer Store

As we predicted, Amazon has launched an online store featuring customisable 3D printed objects, which will be produced on demand by the company’s 3D printing provider, and shipped to the client. This approach, bringing manufacturing several steps closer to the consumer without requiring them to invest in a printer in the home, was forecast in our overview of 3D printing in November 2013.

Amazon announced a marketplace that gives customers access to more than 200 unique print on-demand products, many that can be customised by material, size, styles and colour variations, and personalised with text and image imprints. The new store is one of the largest online destinations to discover 3D printed products featuring convenient search tools, interactive 3D preview functionality and a product personalisation widget. At launch to start, customers will find a wide range of items to browse including jewellery, toys, home décor and fashion accessories.

“The introduction of our 3D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail - that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience. Sellers, in alignment with designers and manufacturers, can offer more dynamic inventory for customers to personalise and truly make their own,” said Petra Schindler-Carter of Amazon.

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Will Metro Sell Media-Saturn to Founder?

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Will Metro Sell Media-Saturn to Founder?

If Media-Saturn founder Erich Kellerhals pushed a bid for the Metro stake in Media-Saturn the retailer would have to consider the offer, Metro board member and interim Media-Saturn CEO Pieter Haas tells German newspaper Die Welt.

"If Mr Kellerhals were to present a good offer, Metro's duty to exercise due diligence would require us to examine it," Haas says. However, in a following statement Metro insists it is not considering the sale, issuing a statement saying "we merely said that we would by law have to look at any offer."

Metro owns 78% of Media-Saturn, the 2nd-largest CE retail chain in the world. The rest belongs to Erich Kellerhals, Media-Saturn founder and grand old pain in the board's collective neck. Metro and Kellerhals have been waging a Game of Thrones over control of the retailer for years, one where Kellerhals drove not one but two CEOs to throw the towel.

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