Media Markt branch (in Munich): »We do everything to keep the markets open«
Peter Kneffel / picture alliance / dpa
The electronics store chains Media Markt and Saturn are preparing for a possible gas shortage in winter.
"We do everything we can to keep the markets open, even with gas passes," said the head of the parent company Ceconomy, Karsten Wildberger.
Teams are working on ensuring that gas-heated branches are also supplied with electricity, should the worst come to the worst.
Where necessary, the sales areas will also be reduced.
According to the manager, around a fifth of the branches could be affected by the emergency measures in winter.
Media Markt and Saturn are already feeling the effects of the Ukraine war and the dramatic price increases.
"Our customers are cautious in view of persistently high inflation, drastically rising energy costs and a possible gas crisis," said Wildberger.
»The consumer climate has continued to deteriorate noticeably since June.«
However, the development is not uniform.
"The reluctance to buy affects the lower and middle segment," said CFO Florian Wieser.
The premium segment, on the other hand, continues to develop positively.
The company is currently concerned about the TV and entertainment business.
In the case of white goods such as refrigerators or washing machines, on the other hand, the electronics retailer is even hoping for additional sales impulses from the high energy prices.
There is now a high incentive to buy more economical devices.
Inflation leads to higher procurement costs
The bottom line is that Ceconomy reported a loss from EUR 76 million to EUR 95 million for the third quarter.
One reason for this is the increased inflation, which has led to higher goods procurement costs.
In addition, the strong competition made additional investments in advertising campaigns and special offers necessary.
From April to June, Ceconomy sales were around 4.7 billion euros, 6.3 percent above the previous year's level.
However, due to the subdued consumer sentiment, the sales momentum slowed noticeably in the course of the quarter, the company reported.
“We see weaker demand, especially in Germany,” said Wildberger.
For the entire 2021/22 financial year to the end of September, the group therefore only expects sales at the previous year's level.
For the time being, Ceconomy does not expect consumer sentiment to improve.