Alberto Álvarez Ayuso, Normal Managing Director of MediaMarkt


MediaMarkt turned the biggest shopper electronics retailer in Europe with the assistance of daring, provocative promoting providing no-nonsense, reliable offers. Based in 1979 in Germany, the chain now has greater than 850 shops in 13 nations.

Alberto Álvarez Ayuso, General Managing Director of MediaMarkt

Its crimson spiral brand is well-known from Austria, Poland and Hungary to Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands and Greece. The corporate serves as a one-stop store for patrons searching for something electrical or digital, providing a median product portfolio of 45,000 completely different gadgets.

Its gross sales flooring are as giant as 10,000 sq. metres and stocked with moveable audio system, sport consoles, laptops, kitchen home equipment, gentle bulbs, energy adaptors, telephones, followers, DJ decks, batteries, cables, and absolutely anything else you can consider.

Having established itself as a trusted model, MediaMarkt is now on a mission to deepen its connections with shoppers, increasing its choices in companies and aftercare, and diversifying its gross sales channels in a bid to create long-term relationships.

The staff at MediaMarkt Iberia, which covers 106 shops in Spain and Portugal, is main the cost on this respect. Drawn by what he noticed as an infinite alternative to assist drive additional digitalisation, Alberto Álvarez Ayuso turned Normal Managing Director for Iberia in 2019 after nearly 20 years working for the corporate.

Alberto first joined MediaMarkt in 2001 as a retailer supervisor in Asturias, within the northern Spanish municipality of Siero. Since then, he has assumed varied completely different duties, from Regional Director for the north and centre of Spain, to COO of MediaMarkt Iberia. He turned CEO of MediaMarkt Sweden in 2018 earlier than being appointed Normal Managing Director for Iberia.

This was a tremendous problem, to assist the corporate transfer from a transactional relationship with its clients to extra of a long-term one.

“I assumed this most up-to-date place with nice enthusiasm as a result of we at the moment are present process an especially vital digital transformation on the firm,” he shares. “So for me, this was a tremendous problem, to assist the corporate transfer from a transactional relationship with its clients to extra of a long-term one.

“The chance and the problem had been very clear to me: to rework this firm right into a digital and omnichannel firm. That is already proving to be such an awesome alternative, at the same time as we’re in the midst of this transformation. We had been a basic retailer promoting solely shopper digital merchandise, and we’ve now moved into additionally promoting companies and options.”

Tailor-made tech options

A key date within the firm’s transformation was 14 March 2020, when the management staff determined to shut all of MediaMarkt Iberia’s shops because the COVID-19 virus swept by Europe. “It was a troublesome choice, however it allowed us to hurry up this means of digital transformation and our choices to our clients,” Alberto says.

“We principally remodeled all of our shops into logistics centres, and we delivered from these logistics centres to clients in Spanish villages and each Spanish metropolis inside a couple of days. It was an enormous quantity of labor, however this actually accelerated our transformation. We did in 5 months what would have taken 5 years.”

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Because of the truth that it was compelled to go digital, 50% of the corporate’s digital enterprise is now achieved by its shops, which means the merchandise are a lot nearer to the shopper than when on-line orders had been fulfilled largely by its warehouses.

“For instance, when a buyer from Seville is ordering items, as an alternative of it being delivered from our central warehouse in Pinto, it’s delivered by the Seville retailer, the closest one,” Alberto explains. “We at the moment are capable of do click on and gather in lower than half an hour, and we had been capable of develop visitors on our web site by 50% and improve the conversion charge.”

Furthermore, MediaMarkt Iberia is main the best way inside the MediaMarktSaturn group when it comes to providing companies and options to clients, somewhat than simply promoting them merchandise. The corporate’s mission is to be the trusted first alternative retailer for tailor-made tech options. “We’re the primary nation to do that,” Alberto says.

“We’re the blueprint concerning companies and options for the remainder of the nations within the group. Due to the disaster in 2020, we needed to develop one other value-add on prime of merchandise, and for this reason we’re creating and constructing new companies and options for the shopper.”

The corporate’s after-sales choices embody assist with assembling and putting in televisions, technical help, coaching workshops, financing, prolonged warranties and restore companies. It even provides a service for disposing of previous units. “In Spain, we at the moment are promoting extra companies and options than any competitor,” Alberto beams.

“We’re additionally a task mannequin for the remainder of the group, and that is our lever with the intention to keep our main place in Spain. We need to turn into a beloved model and provide the shopper a singular worth proposition. This is the reason we purchased 17 new shops just lately. We imagine in proximity, in comfort, within the final mile and in immediacy for patrons.”

We principally remodeled all of our shops into logistics centres … we did in 5 months what would have taken 5 years.

Alberto, as with all the opposite CEOs within the group, is working with three key pillars in thoughts: progress, high quality and pace. These pillars are supported by three most important values: respect for the staff, a concentrate on clients and caring in regards to the legacy the corporate has in wider society.

“We’re the one shopper electronics firm in Spain that’s working with greater than 7,000 individuals, and we’re full specialists concerning shopper electronics,” he says. “No-one else in Spain can say that they’ve greater than 7,000 individuals working solely in shopper electronics. That is our most important aggressive benefit. We actually worth our individuals.”

A digital society

To additional deepen its relationships with clients, the corporate is engaged on dramatically increasing its choices past what it’s historically recognized for. By 2025, MediaMarkt Iberia plans to roll out brand-new product classes in well being and wellness, which is able to embody dental and healthcare plans.

One other important a part of this pivot to extra intimate relationships with clients will contain positioning the corporate to be more and more socially accountable and ecologically sustainable. “We at the moment are in a digital society, and we need to promote the moral, accountable and clear use of knowledge,” Alberto insists.

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“We imagine in long-term worth, so for us, loyalty, belief and long-term relationships with purchasers will probably be key.” One among MediaMarkt Iberia’s social outreach efforts entails partnering with charities to assist poorer and extra susceptible individuals get entry to key applied sciences.

“I believe corporations that aren’t dedicated to giving again to our society will not be going to outlive. We’re absolutely dedicated to giving this society a greater future,” he says. “Our most important aim is to ship expertise for the shopper, however we need to take into account the individuals who would not have the chance to pay for this expertise. So we’ve collaborated with plenty of foundations with the intention to minimise the digital hole.”

Increasing into well being and wellness is just not the corporate’s solely aim for 2025. Alberto can also be aiming to seize 25% of market share for shopper electronics in Spain by then. He additionally goals to open one other 44 shops, bringing the entire underneath his remit to 150, and to lift the variety of members within the firm’s loyalty program, the MediaMarkt Membership, to 10 million.

As Alberto strives for these targets, he additionally sees areas the place the corporate can enhance within the coming years. “In an effort to turn into an operationally glorious firm, I’d say there are two areas to concentrate on: the IT half and the logistics half,” he displays.

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“We’re absolutely dedicated to changing into glorious. We’re going step-by-step down this path. Two years in the past, we had been working with just one service for all our parcels. Now, we’re working with 11 carriers with the intention to attain excellence within the final mile.

“As for IT, it is a digital society, and through this transformation, we’d like the appropriate platform and the appropriate IT system. I believe these areas will probably be important over the subsequent three years.”

Correct forecasts

Alberto has labored arduous to construct robust provider relationships in recent times, which is able to lay the foundations for fulfillment in coming years. Strengthening these bonds has turn into much more vital because the variety of suppliers out there has dwindled.

We have to be critical {and professional} with suppliers, committing to take the portions of products that we’re forecasting a number of months upfront.

“This level is vital as a result of provider numbers have diminished so much in the previous couple of years. There’s an actual focus of the variety of operators,” he says. “So you must construct a very good relationship with every one.”

To take action, Alberto has put a number of emphasis on offering suppliers with probably the most correct attainable forecasts about what items will probably be wanted from them and during which portions, somewhat than asking for much less or extra on the final minute, when demand or different elements change.

Giving companions a level of certainty in such unsure instances is effective to MediaMarkt’s suppliers, and reveals the corporate’s dedication to constructing long-term relationships. “We do an actual forecast,” Alberto reveals.

“I realized working in a Nordic nation, Sweden, that for the provider, it’s crucial to do a very good forecast, much more so throughout a pandemic. We have to be critical {and professional} with suppliers, committing to take the portions of products that we’re forecasting a number of months upfront. That is our approach of making a very good relationship with them.”

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Furthermore, by looking for modern methods so as to add worth to the merchandise their companions are supplying, MediaMarkt Iberia helps to make sure these relationships endure. “One of the best ways so as to add worth to the product is to create an answer, not solely with the product, but in addition with the actual wants of the shopper,” he says.

“For instance, you can promote only a smartphone, however I believe we have now a dedication to the shopper to not solely promote the product, but in addition promote display safety. As a result of within the majority of circumstances, not less than as soon as in our lives, we’ve damaged our smartphone. If we’re promoting solely the smartphone, we’re not doing a very good job concerning buyer satisfaction.

“I believe these are the 2 methods of working with suppliers to create good relationships: including worth and doing an actual forecast – fulfilling this forecast and having options for the merchandise that we’re shopping for from suppliers.”

Earlier this 12 months, MediaMarkt Iberia created a commerce advertising division to offer its suppliers better transparency. “It’s vital for the provider on this digital world that we’re dedicated to giving them visibility on our web site, as a result of we have now a number of visitors there – seven million hits a month,” Alberto factors out.

Our purpose is to turn into one of many prime 10 locations to work in Spain by 2025.

In return for being a very good companion, MediaMarkt is asking its suppliers to develop extra sustainable, inexperienced merchandise, which in flip will assist the corporate fulfil its aim to depart a optimistic legacy.

“I believe sooner or later, a very good relationship with suppliers will all the time have this type of evolution, transferring from the basic product to an ecological product with the intention to save the planet and to contribute to the environment,” he says.

As a result of buyer comfort is vital, Alberto regards logistics suppliers as among the many most vital to MediaMarkt Iberia’s success; the corporate is dependent upon their companies to get clients the merchandise they want.

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To replicate the important nature of this function, the corporate has began providing logistics suppliers a brand new kind of contract – one which incentivises companions to assist make clients blissful. “If they’re serving to us to extend buyer satisfaction, they are going to obtain a bonus,” he says.

“It’s vital for us as a result of we actually see these corporations as companions. They’re proud of the state of affairs, and it makes it simpler for them to grasp that if the shoppers of MediaMarkt are blissful, they’re all the time going to win.”

All of those completely different approaches contribute to the identical overarching aim: to construct a imaginative and prescient alongside suppliers. “In the event that they share our imaginative and prescient, it’s simpler to work with them within the long-term. Generally, we dwell within the short-term within the enterprise world, however we need to keep away from that,” he asserts.

“It’s crucial to construct a long-term imaginative and prescient and long-term cooperation with suppliers as a result of that’s what we’re doing with our clients on the similar time. That is the primary profit: we’re sharing our mission, we’re sharing our method to the shopper and we’re even sharing our method to society and to the planet by growing extra ecological merchandise.”

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Apart from suppliers, clients and exterior stakeholders, the opposite key group of those that Alberto retains in thoughts in his day-to-day work are his staff. Whilst the corporate undergoes a drastic shift to digital companies, serving shoppers in ways in which not require assembly head to head, a devoted and skilled workforce stays important to MediaMarkt Iberia’s success.

“This firm relies on its individuals. Earlier than, we had been a basic retailer. Now, we’re increasingly more changing into an omnichannel and digital firm, however it’s all the time been based mostly on the individuals,” he says.

“Our purpose is to turn into one of many prime 10 locations to work in Spain by 2025. We’re engaged on coaching individuals extra and on expertise retention, and on the lookout for methods to enhance the suggestions tradition amongst our staff. We’re investing some huge cash in this type of factor in order that daily our individuals are going to work happier than the day earlier than.”

As a result of he recognises how important every worker is to the success of the corporate, Alberto personally interviews all of the staff members of MediaMarkt Iberia’s Barcelona headquarters. “Everybody could be very grateful for this transformation as a result of we’re altering the mindset of the individuals. Every single day, our staff is blissful to return to work,” he shares.

MediaMarkt Iberia was the primary firm within the group to start utilizing the worker Internet Promoter Rating, which adapts a standard market analysis device normally meant for patrons to assist determine methods to empower and encourage staff.

“It’s the identical KPI that we use for our clients, however we additionally use it to verify there’s an atmosphere at work and individuals are in good spirits,” Alberto says. “This was additionally used as a blueprint for the remainder of the group; they’re utilizing this survey with the intention to be sure individuals are doing OK of their jobs.”

“My imaginative and prescient of the corporate – and I believe this must be true not solely in MediaMarkt, but in addition in any firm – is that this: we is likely to be working to promote shopper electronics, however we must always all the time attempt to do issues with the individuals and for the individuals. That is my perception, and I work for that.”

Alberto will decide his personal legacy as a frontrunner based mostly on how effectively he teaches those that come up behind him. “Crucial lesson is to be pleased with individuals and to be dedicated to growing higher professionals,” he stresses. “I’m absolutely motivated to do that. I believe my most important function within the firm is to develop individuals’s experience day in and day trip.

“Possibly in the future, these individuals will not be working at MediaMarkt, however in one other firm. For me, a very powerful factor is that these individuals would possibly say to me, ‘Alberto, I realized so much from you.’ This is the reason I get up each morning. I’m going to work for the individuals, not for the merchandise.”

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