FLYING TIGER Fun and design home accessories

FLYING TIGER fun and design home accessories

Today let’s head off to The Netherlands, in Utrecht, to take a closer look at Flying Tiger retail concept. “Flying Tiger”, or just “Tiger” according to the country the brand is located in, is a leading Danish brand that sells everyday home products with a Scandinavian design twist, at an affordable price.

Tiger was born in 1995 in Copenhagen and originally sold cheap merchandise for less than 10 Kroner (which danish pronunciation also means “Tiger” in English). Today, Tiger has more than 600 stores in 25 countries, mostly located in Northern Europe and operated through a joint venture model involving Tiger’s parent company and a local operator. This is pretty impressive, isn’t it ?

Tiger’s business model requires the combination of 2 main criteria :

  • A 200 to 300 sqm prime location in dynamic cities
  • A wide range of quirky, ever-changing selection of own-designed and branded products at affordable prices

Ready for a guided tour ?

  • Located at the heart of the busy and wealthy pedestrian area of Utrecht, the store is around 200 sqm with a large and visible storefront.

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  • The brand’s focus on colorful design and creativity is visible right from the outside. Regular artistic collaborations with famous international designers lead to limited edition, highly desirable, product ranges. At the time when I visited the store, the Japanese female artist Misaki Kawai was showcased.

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  • Even the store bags are involved. But you have to pay for them. Anyway, that’s the way it goes in a vast majority of stores in the NL.

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  • Tiger’s product range consists of kitchen utensils, office supplies, toys, hobby and crafts, party products, food, stationery, electronics, sports, gadgets and fashion accessories.

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  • The store is laid out as a maze that guides customers through every department on their way to the till (does it remind you of something you’ve already experienced in a big blue and yellow furniture box ?). The design is minimalistic and Danish in style with white walls, wooden floors, warm lighting and simple fittings in natural materials.

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  • The store sells Tiger labelled products only. They all have a Scandinavian flavor and are often humorous and sometimes edgy. Their packaging is straightforward and simple.

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  • The brand and the store emphasize on pop and spontaneous atmosphere rather than low-price and discount environment. Even though 80% of the product range is sold less than 6 euros, you won’t find any agressive POS posters.  It results in a cool and pleasant customer journey.

The bottom line is that Tiger (or Flying Tiger whatever) is definitely a cool and vibrant place to shop small stuffs for friends and family. You will always find something you cannot resist buying. I am pretty sure that the conversion rate in these stores is really impressive.

The Scandinavian design and atmosphere combined with affordable prices are truly making a difference. Tiger’s smart positioning helps the brand to stand out from both cheap merchandise discounters and fancy, but expensive, design home products stores, you may find in every major cities.

I am quite surprised that Tiger has not massively broken into the French market yet. 2 years after opening its fist store in Nice, Tiger has not made inroads into other major French cities. I don’t know why but I assume that prime locations the brands is looking for are a scarce resource and financially challenging for the local operator.

Anyway, considering Tiger’s ambition and success on international markets, this situation is unlikely to last long.

If you are interested in my “embedded experience” posts, click Here.