Elektro3 is a company with 30 years of experience in the import, distribution, and export of products for hardware stores, DIY shops, household appliances and gardening. We are consistently committed to incorporating new products that meet sustainability criteria and respect the environment.
At Astigarraga Kit Line, we are launching a new section on our blog: a section for interviews with our distributors, which will allow you to get to know them. We believe that gathering your feedback is important to provide a satisfactory experience, tailored to your needs. Today, we are with Elektro3 and we wanted Xavier Crusells, its purchasing manager, who has more than a hundred suppliers in his portfolio, to tell us first-hand why he trusts Astigarraga Kit Line.
– First of all, we would like you to tell us how Elektro3 started…
– We started in 1993 in a small 200m2 warehouse in Cambrils, with an initial catalogue of 500 references. In 2011, we had less than 3,400 references and most of them were related to small electrical and lighting equipment. In the following years and little by little, we grew not only in number of employees but also in articles and ranges that we did not have in our catalogue before, both from our own brand, EDM, as well as leading brands in the sector. The company started moving to different warehouses in the Cambrils industrial estate. In 2010, Elektro3 had a total of seven stores. A significant investment was made and we moved to Vilaseca. From 2010 to date, three different enlargements have taken place. We currently have a network of 125 sales agents between Spain and Portugal; we export to some 20 countries in Europe and Africa; we have a team of 193 employees in Vilaseca and a total of 19,500 active references in stock.
– It must not have been an easy road…
– The most difficult thing about buying is knowing how to manage stocks, and accepting when you make a mistake and have to liquidate. The good thing about this sector is that, no matter how many new items you put in the collection, you are never finished; there are always things missing, there are always families that are incomplete, ranges of items that are out of date, products that change due to new regulations. To sum it up, it is an endless road.
– What is the main line of your business?
It is focused on all things hardware. That would be lighting, electrical equipment, heating, ventilation, small household electrical appliances (PAE), garden, lanterns, hand, and power tools. These are the products that people know us best for.
– But you distribute much more. Among the 19,500 references you mention, there are a few from Astigarraga Kit Line. What do you look at when selecting suppliers and how do they fit in with your project?
In the pre-Covid era, there came a point where Elektro3 was a fully importing company. – This was a bit scary because we wondered what could happen to us, like any other export-only company, if a problem arose in the country of manufacture. Luckily, just before the pandemic, which was when we started working with Astigarraga Kit line, we turned the supplier and item typology around and started looking for brands, both national and European, to diversify our portfolio and expand our presence with new products and brands. And time has proved us right because we have done very well, despite the pandemic and the supply chain mess. Having more suppliers, both at national and European level, helps you to diversify your product and offer much faster deliveries.
– Based on your experience, what are the strong points of Astigarraga Kit Line as a supplier? Why do you trust us?
– Apart from the fact that yours are locally made products, and that you use wood from sustainably managed forests, what I like most is that your type of items fit very well with the range of customers we are looking for. We are interested in an intermediate quality: that the furniture is versatile and functional, and that it adapts to the type of customer we have. We always say that our product or quality target is Toyota. We don’t sell simple, low cost cars, but we also don’t sell very high end cars that can’t reach the majority of people. We sell Toyotas: good, intermediate quality that most people can afford. Your product fits these characteristics that we always emphasise.
– What are the products you would highlight from Astigarraga Kit Line?
-What we move the most is the ecological easel, in terms of units and turnover. It is the king and now, here where San Juan is celebrated a lot, it is the top seller because of the festivals that take place on the night of 23 June, to set up the tables. And apart from that, the easel, your bottle racks, cupboards, and shelves are the most popular.
– If you had to define AKL in one word, or, failing that, in one sentence…
– Eco-friendly, locally manufactured, and competitive products.
– That almost completely defines our value proposition!
– I also appreciate the great support you provide in terms of photographs and ideas. Without making a huge investment, you provide very practical and aesthetic solutions with versatile products to make a home more than well furnished and decorated, and at a very good price. With all the visual support you offer, it is very easy to imagine the final result; how your furniture will look in a home. The ideas with these creative photos show the products very well in any space and environment. This is an angle that I always emphasise.
– What support does Astigarraga Kit Line offer you on a daily basis? How does it help you?
– Well, it is related to the above. There is a team that follows your social networks, the spaces you present, they are inspired and, from there, they get ideas (some identical or very similar) for the shop windows that are then reproduced in our 4,000m2 showroom. On the one hand, in the exhibition you can see the articles one by one, you can touch them and view them and, on the other hand, there are the twelve shop windows, one for each month of the year. Photos and videos are taken to inspire our shops on how to present the items. We give shops solutions to improve the displays. The idea is to change the window every month. Sometimes it is very difficult, but we advise them to do it at least once a quarter.
– With regard to sustainability and the environment, for Elektro3, to what extent are these issues essential when selecting new products to offer to hardware and DIY shops?
– A wooden article cannot be compared with a plastic one, for a start. When we started working with Astigarraga Kit Line, we immediately noticed that the photos bore the PEFC and Ecolabel logos. It is essential and will soon become an issue that the end user will value highly. I cannot say it is more important than price, but the fact that it is an ecological and local item will be a crucial argument in the final decision to buy one product or another. And we, as a company, have been replacing plastic packaging with cardboard or other types of packaging for some time now, because the end consumer is becoming more and more aware, and we have to look for packaging solutions that better protect the environment.
– What is Elektro3’s aim?
– With Astigarraga Kit Line, to continue growing in sales and turnover. As a company, to continue to grow our references to offer an increasingly global service to all our customers. And to be very aware of the different types of consumers. In the hardware sector, it may seem that there is only one prototype audience: the elderly. But this is not the case. There are many people in their 20s and 30s who rent a flat and need items to fit out their home. This public comes with a different mindset, more concerned about buying sustainable products. You have to be careful not to fall behind, otherwise you can lose market share.
Would you like to become an Astigarraga Kit Line distributor like Elektro3? We only design and manufacture ecological furniture in natural and local wood. If you would like to become a distributor, you can register here.