We want to open about 10 stores this year. We will open 5 of them before the summer holidays, and 5 more in the coming months until October. However, we want to expand the network to 150 stores in 2-3 years. Therefore, a new concept has been created to meet the requirements of the market, as well as to face the great competition that exists in our segment. We are optimistic and serious about these goals, both in our ranks in Poland and globally. Takko Fashion operates in 17 markets and has about 2,000 markets. stores. So we have a large base, says Jan Skowron, PL / EE / LT Takko Fashion Country Manager, in an interview with Retailnet.
Let’s start with a new concept recently introduced by Takko Fashion. What does it highlight and are future applications planned in this format?
The subject of the new concept of our stores is very broad, but the main thing is that it is distinguished by better navigation than before. We focus on customer navigation across the entire surface of the store to strongly visualize and present the individual sections – women’s, men’s and children’s sections. We wanted them to be very visible and easy to find at the entrance to our salon. As a result, product categories, such as casual, basic, denim, and especially the children’s section, began to appear. All these activities, which improve navigation, make shopping faster and more efficient. We also avoid the frustration of a customer who can’t find the product he is looking for, but simply leaves the store.
How to navigate well in the store? What specific measures were needed?
The individual sections of the store definitely emphasize the LED lighting we use. In addition, we used the major points of view that presented the proposal for a particular department. Thanks to these solutions, the store has become more readable and bright for our customers. Interestingly, we can change virtually the entire arrangement of the store at our own expense, without outside help, ie only with the team in the store. We can organize 90 percent of the store space ourselves, change the location of the furniture, even the walls, because all the walls are mobile and most of the furniture is on wheels. The space has become flexible, and thanks to this we can surprise the customer many times, for example, just by building a store.
The first flagship store with such modern solutions was opened in Zabki. So you start rebuilding from smaller cities and carefully …
Ząbki was definitely a test point, we wanted to start with a store that would be easily accessible, close to Warsaw and would serve as such a test point for all travelers from the Takko headquarters who wanted to see this new concept. And, of course, we wanted to have a store that had been operating for a while and had good access. So the place was decisive. However, as a result, all new stores will be implemented in accordance with this new formula.
What are Takko Fashion’s expansion plans for this year and as a result?
We want to open about 10 stores this year. We will open 5 of them before the summer holidays, and 5 more in the coming months until October. It all depends on how we can agree on leases. Although the agreements have already been signed, we can not talk about specific places yet. However, I would like to contact them when we have a ready-made store.
However, we want to expand the network to 150 stores in 2-3 years. Therefore, a new concept has been created to meet the requirements of the market, as well as to face the great competition that exists in our segment. We are optimistic and serious about these goals, both in our ranks in Poland and globally. Takko Fashion operates in 17 markets and has about 2,000 markets. stores. So we have a strong background.
Which shopping facilities are more interesting for you?
I think we will be able to surprise you, because we will open not only in retail parks, but also in shopping centers – mainly in categories B and C. Everything depends on the agility of landlords when it comes to rental prices. now rising even higher.
When it comes to category B and C shopping malls, do you mean small shopping malls or retail parks?
I mean smaller galleries with fewer shops and mass market offerings. Of course, we are also interested in retail parks in cities with a population of about 80,000. However, the problem in such places is definitely transportation and water collection.
What makes Takko Fashion comfortable?
I do not hide the fact that we are comfortable with brands such as Sinsay, Pepco or Action. Therefore, we will definitely try to be visible where these stores are.
What does your cooperation with shopping centers look like? Several openings announced each year are very dynamic. On what terms do you want to sign lease agreements?
In general, we naturally hope that the shopping centers will adapt to reality, given the recent shopping problems. This is undoubtedly the first point of interest. However, I already see that the leaders of most of the shopping centers and retail parks with which we currently cooperate have approached us as partners. We are also interested in the provision in the contract that provides the breake option in case of non-fulfillment of the given sales assumptions. As a result, the risk is simply minimized.
Do you think there have been any changes in the lease agreements in the last two years? Are these popademic rentals different, better, maybe more flexible?
I think that this approach to the tenant has certainly become more flexible since 2019. In the previous decade, from 2009 to 2019, negotiations with shopping centers were not difficult and flexible when it came to approaching tenants. Now we can count on a more flexible approach of homeowners.
What problems do you face now?
The biggest problem is to control the economic situation in the country. We all know that it is impossible to solve the problem of inflation in the next few months. I think this is a matter of a year or two, but before it happens, the most important thing is that the people in the country, that is, our potential customers, know where they are and what awaits them. At the moment, we have so many changes in inflation, as well as interest rates that empty the customer portfolio, that we can hardly wait for the first half of the year. I look forward to such a leap moment and a way out of this dilemma. For the clothing business, the first half of the year will undoubtedly be marked by strong sales campaigns due to deteriorating market conditions, but also the surplus of stock, the large number of ordered products owned by these companies, these brands are currently unable to sell. they are, for example, in Ukraine or Russia. And therefore, of course, we are not talking only about Poland, but I think that in the first half and second half of the year, Poland will be very “flooded” with this surplus, which simply arises from the inability to sell. in other markets.
But Takko is probably in a better position because you’re a discounter, so for many families, you’ll be the first choice for low prices.
I completely agree with you, except for the first part – we are not a discounter. As for the Polish market, we position ourselves as a valuable fashion. In terms of price and quality, we are simply higher than the so-called discounts.
Interviewer: Katarzyna Łabuz