Dekk Partner aims to develop the independent market in the face of multinational competition
The Nordic Market is very different from the highly developed mass markets of the UK or Germany – both of which are recognised as the most highly developed markets in Europe. The Nordic market might be considered to cover essentially Norway, Sweden and Finland, and possibly Denmark – depending upon your point of view or your business strategy. In any of these countries logistics would give most typical regional wholesalers nightmares. In the case of the three northern countries deliveries are hampered by long distances, less developed road networks, and for around half the year, bad weather conditions – not to mention fjords and ferries in Norway. Denmark, being more densely populated and considerably less mountainous has a better transport system, but also relies heavily on ferries between the islands that make up much of the country.
Leif Kristiansen has a long history in the tyre trade and in 1993 was working with Vianor when he saw the need for a tyre retailer group that not only served as a buying point for tyres, but as a much wider partnership aimed at helping the independent tyre retailer compete in a market increasingly dominated by equities.
Leif Kristiansen says, “Dekk Partner is owned by the members, each with one share so that there is no controlling member. That is very important. There are no suppliers involved in the group and no producer can buy shares. We want Dekk Partner to be fully independent.
“Our members are free to buy and sell what they want from whoever they wish but we do have a loyalty rebate scheme for our members that encourages them to buy within the group. It is highly successful. With respect to the suppliers, there are none with a contract any longer than two years. So irrespective of the brand or the manufacturer, we work on two year contracts to keep the standard of service provided as high as possible.”