|  05.08.2016

Romanian Consumers Have a Huge Desire for Innovation

For HL Display, using new tech products as solutions for merchandising, or as part of our merchandising solutions, was always a top priority.

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Q: In a brief statement, can you tell us what is really essential for business growth in Romania, in 2016 and beyond, both for HL Display and for your clients?

Alexandru Chiru: Being in 2016 does not bring, necessarily, new issues that are the base of growing HL business or any other business in Romania. So, essential is to increase sales, because if the need is growing, then also the sales should grow. All of our clients want to invest in innovation, in new solutions that will assure a big ROI and will increase sales.
Of course, let’s not forget, decrease of tax would be an essential factor as well.

Q: What is the most innovative trend for in-store communication and merchandising in 2016? Are Romanian consumers ready for innovation in this sector? Please detail.

Alexandru Chiru: Well, from our point of view, the Romanian consumers are always waiting and have a huge desire for innovation, for something new to happen, for new experiences, so based on this we can say that one of the most innovative trend in the retail sector would be to create and give more at the shelf edge. And here we are talking about making it easy for the consumer to find his way in the store, to get directions to the category he seeks and then to find all the information about the product he wants. It may not seem a new trend, but it’s still the actual trend.

Another innovative trend will be technologization of the shopping experience; having digital screens on which to choose what they can buy or where can they find the products, interactive merchandising displays.

Usually when we think about innovation, we think about novelty. To respond to this trend, retailers, and actually also the brand producers, used rebranding.

When talking about innovation in merchandising, we refer to optimizing the store, the shopper experiences, the activity itself - and here we create new solutions that cover all these needs.

Q: As Romania is going through a major boost in spending (triggered by a significant decrease in indirect taxes), how are the consumers reacting? Do they act differently compared to the past?

Alexandru Chiru: If we judge by the shopping basket reports, they acted differently at the first beginning of this change; now we can report the same behavior.

In the same time, what is different it’s the focus they put now on quality, for example, they spend more on quality, in comparison to how they did before this change.

Q: How are your clients reacting, taking into consideration such a major boost?


Alexandru Chiru: Indeed, we felt a big growth along with all the changes in the market. In what concerns HL business in Romania, our clients reacted like we expected - their budget grew, thanks to this boost; budgeting more on innovations and solutions for increasing sales and creating a more appropriate environment for the shoppers to buy, they invest more in HL solutions, hence, our partnerships strengthen and are more consolidated.

Q: In your sector, we have seen in the past few years some intense changes and an ever-changing market. Have these transformations ended? What is next?

Alexandru Chiru: Considering the Romanian market, which, like you mentioned, goes through ever-chancing periods, the small shops started to close down, and the big accounts started to grow; more and more.

The producers noticed that they cannot face the big competitors. What’s in it for us? Well, new partners, new business opportunities. Because, in the same time, these international accounts want to save labor cost, want to increase their sales and to have their store the best they can be and offer.

Last but not least, small local producers started to merchandise their products in modern retail, so we can say that this is next- collaboration between TT and MT.


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