MediaMarkt and sister company Saturn dominate the electronics trade in Germany – at least so far. Because now the Dutch chain Coolblue is attacking. We looked at the first flagship store in Düsseldorf.
Coolblue could hardly have chosen a more exclusive address: At Kö-Bogen 2 in Düsseldorf the electronics retailer from the Netherlands celebrates its debut in Germany. The glass palace, which has the largest green facade in Europe, offers 2,600 square meters of space for over 1,000 products, as Coolblue underlines confidently. “The branch in Kö-Bogen is our calling card for Germany”, said Coolblue founder Pieter Zwart at the end of August. We were on site in Düsseldorf for the opening ceremony and took a closer look at the first Coolblue store.
MediaMarkt alternative Coolblue opens its first flagship store in Düsseldorf
Coolblue would like to set itself apart from the big competitors MediaMarkt and Saturn, especially with the service. Although the electronics chain also wants to be competitive in terms of price, the company does not want to keep up with competitive prices from every small online store. The main focus will be on on-site service, the immediate customer impression in the branch is in the foreground. This can be seen in several corners of the store. For example, customers can try out the robotic vacuum cleaner on site and let the little household helpers vacuum up dirt.
The implementation of the TV corner is also clever. Each device not only shows relevant key data such as size, resolution, energy efficiency and of course the price directly on the screen, all televisions exhibited there also show the same picture – but in different versions. Once in Full HD and 4K, once with 50 Hz and 100 Hz, once in SDR and HDR. Customers are taken by the hand and can see the differences with their own eyes.
The service concept also continues with other products, such as the fully automatic coffee machines. Because technical data is one thing, operation and, above all, taste is another. Coolblue knows that too and enables customers to try out the respective fully automatic coffee machines in the local coffee bar, in other words: making yourself a freshly brewed coffee and comparing the taste. However, this cannot be done spontaneously, you have to make appointments online beforehand.
The “living room”, which invites you to try out different soundbars, is also practical. Speaking of sound: Coolblue also offers the now popular in-ear and over-ear headphones. As with other electronics retailers, the sound of the latter can be compared on site, but the Dutch are thinking a little further and have installed a small mirror on the stand. Customers can check directly whether they look stylish with the headphones – sensible.
There are easy-to-understand explanations of all products throughout the store. If you still need advice, you will find helpful and friendly staff. You don’t have to look for it either: A Coolblue employee can be called via a touchscreen terminal.
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Coolblue wants to conquer Germany city by city
The store in Düsseldorf is supposed to be just one of many. Coolblue wants to expand all over Germany, first in North Rhine-Westphalia. “We take on the German market city by city,” says company founder Zwart. A spokeswoman for the company did not want to reveal in which cities Coolblue will serve next. That makes Coolblue primarily dependent on the availability of a suitable property. That is one of the reasons why Coolblue decided to go to Düsseldorf first, because the Kö-Bogen 2 offered the ideal opportunity for the debut in Germany.
We find: The first impression was definitely successful! You can tell at Coolblue that the service concept is more than just a PR phrase and that the Dutch company really cares about customers and the shopping experience. Now we can only hope that the expansion in North Rhine-Westphalia and then throughout Germany will progress rapidly.