PBS - Holding ag

PBS Holding looks to conquer Italy

Multichannel office products player PBS Holding has made the decision to take on the Italian market in 2019. OPI caught up with Managing Director Richard Scharmann to discuss the company’s strategy.

By Lily Elden
10 January 2019

Multichannel office products player PBS Holding has made the decision to take on the Italian market in 2019. OPI caught up with Managing Director Richard Scharmann to discuss the company’s strategy.

PBS is planning to launch in Italy in July 2019, with a pure wholesale model and a strong focus on comprehensive, fully integrated IT and logistics solutions.

Commenting on choosing Italy as its next market, Scharmann said:
“The size and competitive landscape in the country, including its ongoing consolidation, made it an attractive market for PBS. The potential in Italy for service-driven wholesale solutions and the chance to build up a business with a committed and experienced team, makes our Italian project very exciting.”

The Italian wholesaling market is currently led by rivals including ADVEO and Desktoo, however, the recent news of a planned takeover of ADVEO is set to have a “significant impact” on the landscape.

“I have seen the results of ADVEO’s downturn in Germany, where dealers had to change wholesale partners and it caused a loss in market share for the dealer community. This will be a big issue for us in Italy, as we are convinced that dealers not only need a recovery in product availability, but will also need tools to win back business they may have lost in recent months,” Scharmann said.

However, Scharmann believes that a changing market won’t impact PBS’ ability to flourish, as the business will have a different concept to other players. He said the aim is to reduce the amount of time that dealers spend on organising their business, enabling them to focus on the selling side, which PBS will support with online and ERP solutions.

Although the company will be largely preoccupied with this expansion in 2019, Scharmann did not rule out other potential growth opportunities for the company, including acquisitions or entering other geographic markets.

Wels, Austria