Volgel’s is introducing a new range of super slim mounts to the UK which will enhance customers’ enjoyment of the latest slim TV panels and help independents take a greater share of this profitable market. Anna Ryland travelled to Putten in The Netherlands to see what’s special about Vogel’s new products.
The Dutch bracket and AV furniture manufacturer Vogel’s, which opened its UK subsidiary in spring 2009, is fast raising its profile in Britain. This is not only on account of the quality of its products, which score top marks with the independents, but also because of its evangelical approach to educating and training retailers to take full advantage of opportunities which the AV mount sector provides.
Vogel’s is a family business which was founded in 1973 in Eindhoven. Gerdi Vogels, chief executive of Vogel’s, fondly recollects her father’s efforts to establish the company adapting his garage for a warehouse and her grandparents’ farm buildings for an assembly line. Forty years ago Vogel’s had only one product – a loudspeaker bracket – since Harry Vogel’s believed that loudspeakers project sound best while hung on the wall. Gradually the company broadened its product offer and expanded its distribution network beyond The Netherlands, now reaching as far as Australia and New Zealand. In the UK, the company’s products were first distributed by BBG.
In The Netherlands, Vogel’s is represented by its holding company Havoned, whose product portfolio also includes AV furniture, projection screens, speakers (eg Jamo), cables and radios (inc. Tangent). Constituting the largest part of Havoned’s turnover, Vogel’s is well represented in the company’s 1,400m² retail showroom in Putten.
In the UK, Vogel’s has an 8% market share by value of the bracket market (GfK), and although the company is active in all distribution channels (including the internet) it’s best represented in the independent sector. Vogel’s is known for its 8000 series of mounts but it has recently ventured into gaming, with its stand for the PS3 which is a docking station for the games console and its controllers.
However, the main focus of the company’s efforts is the new range of products accommodating the latest market opportunity – LED televisions. Slim and light, with higher contrast ratios and eco benefits, they are predicted to increase their sales by 15% in 2010 (source: GfK). Vogel’s Thin Series incorporates three wall mounts, one remote controlled wall mount and one floorstand – designed for 32 to 52in televisions with maximum weight of 25kg. All models have Vogel’s USPs: they are easy to install and operate (the ‘fingertip movement’), and have Screen Protection System preventing the panel from bumping against the wall when turning. They have also come with lifelong guarantee.
James Attfield, Vogel’s UK country manager, believes that the independent cannot afford to ignore the huge commercial opportunities which the advent of LED TVs presents. The independent channel accounts for only 9% of bracket sales (by volume) and the ratio of attachment sales at independent stores is only one in twenty (in contrast to one in five at multiples). The brackets for ultra thin television could be just the thing to turn this situation around.