Vector celebrates 20 years of success
| 08 September, 2017
Vector Managing Director, Marius Avram told the Office Times how important it was to mark the 20th anniversary because so few Romanians companies reach this landmark. “Passion and involvement are the two main reasons behind our success,” he explained. “You can see from the Vector staff that we are a company that is passionate about the service we provide and this give me great pride. The results we have achieved derive from this approach to the business.”
The day started with Vector’s key vendors showcasing their latest products to a large number of wholesale customers. This was followed by a series of presentations from vendors and Vector’s most loyal and best performing customers receiving awards. The day ended with dinner and live music at an exclusive venue in Bucharest.
“This event is an exciting opportunity for our customers to see the wide range of products that we stock first-hand and get the specific information they require from the vendors in order to develop their sales,” Marius Avram told The Office Times during the day. “The size of our assortment means that we are not able to convey how resellers can seize the opportunities afforded by new products during our meetings throughout the year. The feedback I have received from customers underlines how meeting the vendors helps them achieve a better understanding of the products and how to best promote them. One of the key points I convey to them is that is a stagnant market, the best opportunity to grow is to educate the end users into buying more value-added items. ”
Sales already up by 12% in 2017
This approach is working for Vector and it has had a successful start to 2017, with sales increasing 12% over the first 5 months of the year. With an expanded back-to-school range and television campaigns on children’s channels taking place over summer, the goal is to achieve 15-18% growth by the end of the year to take turnover close to €6.5 million. This is in the context of a very fragmented stationery and office supplies market that is estimated at around €250 million. Vector sells directly to larger businesses in the Bucharest area as well as working with its approximately 250 wholesale customers that are often involved in both B2B and B2C sales.
One channel Vector has been active with in 2017 is developing its online business, including the acquisition of a local etailer in May. Marius Avram explains: “The primary reason behind this acquisition is to gain access to the latest technology for online sales. The etailer sells to both businesses and individuals, so it corresponds well to the Vector customer profile. We believe that by increasing our understanding of online sales we will be able to impart this knowledge on our customers to help them develop this ever-growing channel.”
Targeting malls with retail stores
Vector is also developing the retail arm of its stores with a new opening in March and doubling the surface of another store. The concept behind Autograf is to target shopping malls with a well-presented assortment of products at each level of the price spectrum.
“The retail market is rewarding but it is also challenging to position products because if you push too hard on margins you can lose footfall in the shops,” explains Marius Avram. “We don’t have the same price constraints of a local corner shop, but our pricing strategy can’t stray too far from other retailers because the Romanian market is very price sensitive. We cater to quite a wide customer profile of people who enjoy shopping in malls. Of course, the female market is important to us, but we see many kids and young people enjoying the shopping experience that we provide. We are seen as a destination to find the latest products that can differentiate them from their friends. For example, we have just added the whole line of LEGO bags, which we expect will be a hit with our customers.”
Vector also reports success for its rebranding with the Vector logo making the recent list of finalists at the ‘Best Brand Awards’ Europe and Russia. The letter ‘V’ represents the hummingbird to evoke the efficiency and hard-working nature of the office supplier.