Damian Izdebski is the founder and Managing Director of DiTech, an Austrian computer company. Together with the bookstore chain Thalia, the company now has opened the third shop-in-shop collaboration of computers and books. In our interview, Mr. Izdebski tells us why the collaboration between literature and technology works so well.
Mr. Izdebski, for the third time now, your company DiTech collaborates with a Thalia store in Austria and thus combines book trade and electronics sales. How did you come up with the idea to combine these two store concepts?
This idea seemed obvious to us. Books as well as computers are emotional, not to mention very personal products that go beyond simple everyday objects. This is something Thalia and DiTech have in common and why a collaboration of both concepts makes so much sense.
How do these similarities express themselves in practice?
Thalia and DiTech service two complementing group of buyers, which can complement one another well through a combination of both worlds. On the one hand, there are very young, technophile, typically male customers and on the other hand are the slightly older, typically female buyers. Thalia as well as DiTech benefit from this customer combination.
Why did you specifically choose the bookstore chain Thalia as your cooperation partner?
Together with Thalia, we have identified and correspondingly worked out many synergy effects. Our collaboration is a strategic step and an opportunity for both companies to appeal to new target groups. Together with Thalia, we combine the two worlds of literature and technology. The customer receives a combined array of topics, in which he/she is not being left alone with his/her questions thanks to consulting and service.
What benefits has this cooperation effectively brought your company?
Thanks to the cooperation, both Thalia as well as DiTech obtained a positive image transfer and developed new target audiences. By positioning ourselves in the sales environment of Thalia, we succeeded in catering to new and particularly female clients. In doing so, the percentage of our female clientele has increased.
In our already established shop-in-shops, at this point 50 percent more women shop there compared to other DiTech locations. The new store concept by DiTech, which focuses on look and feel, also contributes to this. Here, even otherwise not quite as tech-savvy customers are able to take their time, take a look around and try things out.
What impact does the collaboration have on sales figures?
The new shop-in-shops with Thalia are not selling more items than other DiTech branches per se. However, our cooperation partner Thalia always has excellent locations. This is why the sales volume there is on par with pure DiTech branches at similarly great locations.
What long-term plan are you pursuing with this cooperation, given that you are now already opening the third shop-in-shop location in Austria?
We are pleased that the cooperation works so wonderfully the way it is. However, to endlessly scale the shop-in-shop concept with Thalia is not our plan, because DiTech generally does not intend to launch aggressive measures to obtain new locations. However, during our continued collaboration, I could envision that we might still come up with other collaborative ways that are beneficial for both companies.
Are there more sales promoting collaborations with companies from other industry sectors planned?
There are no concrete plans yet for this. The collaboration with Thalia has shown us how well cooperations work. We are generally always open to cooperation as well as new paths in retail.
The interview was conducted by Elisabeth Henning; EuroShop.de