MediaMarkt “Check” on German television

What a funny coincidence: Just after having finished another piece talking about Media-Saturn, the first German Television ARD shows a documentary about MediaMarkt. In their “Check” series they talk abot a known consumer brand each week, last night was time for the MediaMarkt-Check.

If your German is at least half-decent, you should have a look at the piece yourself and draw your own conclusions. If not, let me just point out the most important points here.

For the most part, the film was talking about what is happening inside the local stores and made just a few remarks about the new onlineshop: There are only about 2,500 products online, those cost as much as their local store counterparts, and you can get much cheaper stuff elsewhere on the web – nothing new here.

The focus was rather on how MediaMarkt since its beginning at the end of the 70s has managed to transport the image of the price leader and manages – in physical store context – to outperform competitors such as Expert (who also want to open an onlineshop in the next weeks apparently) when it comes to pricing. This is possible partly because some products are offered for a lower price at MediaMarkt, other are made incomparable by letting manufacturers produce slightly altered washing machines, fridges etc. When randomly comparing the products that are being sold in the brick-and-mortar stores to their equivalents on price comparison sites, the former were up to 40% more expensive. No wonder MediaMarkt had launched a campagin trying to badmouth those product search engines.

The documentary concluded with the insight that the retailer plays mostly fair when it comes to disposing of old electronics devices (I loved it when they sneaked in little GPS devices to make sure those old monitors weren’t sent to Africa to destroy some poor kids’ lungs there when burned for a bit of copper). As for customer service, it was a matter of being lucky to get the right information.

Although the documentary told us nothing new and was a bit too lurid for my taste, it was a good summary. And I loved the coincidence.

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