INTERVIEW: Marcin Krysieniel, 4Kraft
by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 3 January 2017
Channel event DISTREE EMEA provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers and brands to meet senior distributor executives from across the vast Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region in one place at one time. DISTREE EMEA 2017 takes place in February in Monaco, offering a structured event format based on pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings between exhibitors and distributors.
While DISTREE EMEA’s primary focus is consumer technology products, the quality and quantity of the audience opens up a wide range of opportunities for manufacturers in other areas to explore new business opportunities with attending distributors. Channel EMEA caught up with Marcin Krysieniel, export manager EMEA at Poland-based manufacturer 4Kraft, ahead of the company’s participation at DISTREE EMEA 2017.
Channel EMEA (CE): What do you want to achieve at DISTREE EMEA 2017? What are your key goals for the event?
Marcin Krysieniel (MK): It will be the first time we are present on DISTREE. Our goal is to meet promising partners in our business range - large e-commerce companies, large online stores, distributors - and make long-term partnerships. We’d like to present our business to a wider range of trading companies. Fast-rotating everyday products can be a perfect extension to the offering of companies engaged mostly in electronics and consumer technology.
Our products are already present in the largest retail chains and e-shops in Poland. Our items are also available in Western Europe. First feedback from the market is very promising and that’s why we would like to develop our business in the EMEA region - especially western and central Europe.
CE: What products and solutions will you be showcasing at DISTREE EMEA 2017? What do you want distributors to know about your portfolio?
MK: We would like to present our full product range: Kinderkraft child products including car seats, strollers, balance bikes; Homekraft office chairs, home furniture; Siestadesign suitcases, Fitkraft fitness equipment and Schter garden tools.
Our proposition is built on supply chain optimization and well-developed logistics solutions. We have two logistics centres in Poland and Belgium with drop shipping available from these two locations. We offer a broad selection of products, hand-picked and developed to best fulfill the needs of different customers all over Europe. We focus on best prices and quality of our products. Our team consists of highly qualified people who emphasise creativity and constant improvement of their abilities.
CE: Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?
MK: Customers are searching for nice looking products, resembling A-brands, that combine good quality with reasonable prices, without keeping the price of products artificially high. Our mission is to provide good quality products with very low RMA rates at a good price. Our sales growth is approximately 20% per annum in Poland, and 40% yearly in Western Europe - France, Germany, UK.
With the growth of our sales in Western Europe, we decided to start off with our new warehouse in Belgium. The warehouse serves our Western Europe customers. In 2016 we have worked out new websites for each category and we did the whole rebranding. To maintain the high level of quality, we have opened sourcing and quality control operations at 4Kraft’s office in Shanghai.
CE: Which geographic areas represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in EMEA? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?
MK: We see the potential all over Europe, but we are concentrating on development in central and Western Europe. We are the one of the fastest developing manufacturers in Poland. Drawing inspiration from global trends, our offer is tailored to match individual markets across Europe and outside Europe. Our collaboration with designers allows us to create customised projects which stand out from our competitors’ offers.
Our long-term production planning guarantees availability of our products As an innovative producer with R&D and design departments within the company, 4Kraft creates new designs and brand new products customised to the needs and expectations of our customers.
Our offer is very dynamic and we introduce approximately 50 new products each year. Our products are stored, handled and shipped out from two locations in Europe: a Bleckmann logistics centre in Belgium and Schenker logistics centre in Poland. Drop shipping is available from both locations. We provide good quality products with less than 1% RMA and less than 3% returns.
The introduction of our products to a distributor’s existing offering could be a chance to extend the portfolio. These products do not compete with their existing offer and could be an opportunity for distributors to increase their turnover.
CE: What sort of support do you offer distributors in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?
MK: We have a very competitive pricing strategy. Our pricing strategy combined with the optimised logistics guarantees a good margin to our customers. Marketing is our strong side. Each category of our products has its own professional photographic sessions and videos. We give access to the materials to our customers. We are flexible and open to discuss marketing strategies and marketing events with our partners and give them our support.
Our sales in the main retail chains in Poland is well developed and the sales are solid. Our target is to reach the major European e-shops and distributors. We are recording constant growth in e-commerce sales. Our target for 2017 is 35% sales growth and sales of US$31m.
CE: What else should distributors attending DISTREE EMEA 2017 know about your 4Kraft?
MK: Our vision is to be the leader with a business partner vision, worthy of imitation. 4Kraft is a stable company with very fast growth, focused on development and with a flexible approach. We recognize the needs of the market. 4Kraft is growing constantly and is looking for new markets. For distributors attending DISTREE EMEA 2017, cooperation with 4Kraft is a chance to broaden their portfolios with fast-moving, well-developed, value for money products.