THE BEST LOCATION FOR A BIK BOK STORE WITHIN A SHOPPING CENTER IS NEAR ITS COMPETITORS. IMAGE: BIK BOK
Retail

“WE SEE MANY SIMILARITIES WITH SCANDINAVIA”

Camilla Høymer Steen, COO of Bik Bok, explains in an interview with ACROSS that there are a number of possible countries on her expansion radar – including Austria.

ACROSS: BIK BOK IS PART OF THE VARNER GROUP. WHAT ROLE DOES THE BRAND PLAY WITHIN THIS GROUP?

CAMILLA HØYMER STEEN: Bik Bok is the only chain in the Varner Group targeting young girls.

ACROSS: WHO IS YOUR TARGET GROUP?

HØYMER STEEN: Young, fashion-conscious girls who follow trends and all the twists and turns of the fashion world.

ACROSS: BIK BOK CURRENTLY HAS SHOPS IN NORWAY, SWEDEN, FINLAND, AND
DENMARK. DO YOU HAVE EXPANSION PLANS OUTSIDE OF SCANDINAVIA?

HØYMER STEEN: We are currently working on the future expansion plan and we are looking into several possible markets. Austria will be an important first step for future expansion in Europe.

ACROSS: BIK BOK WILL OPEN FIVE STORES IN SHOPPING CENTERS THERE IN 2015. WHY AUSTRIA?

HØYMER STEEN: We did an enormous amount of research on many markets in Europe. Then we chose a couple of countries to visit. We fell in love with Austria for many reasons. It is a stable market with strong purchasing power and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. The competition is lower than in many other European markets, even though a number of big players are entering right now. We also see many similarities with Scandinavia. Another important factor is the central location in Europe; Austria is really in the middle of everything.

ACROSS: WHAT ROLE DO SHOPPING CENTERS PLAY IN GENERAL IN YOUREXPANSION STRATEGY AS LOCATIONS FOR YOUR SHOPS?

HØYMER STEEN: Shopping centers play an important role as we are going to open almost all of our new stores in Austria in shopping centers.

ACROSS: WHAT REQUIREMENTS MUST A SHOPPING CENTER FULFILL IN ORDER TO BE INTERESTING FOR BIK BOK AS A SITE FOR ONE OF ITS STORES? CONVERSELY, WHAT ARE EXCLUSION CRITERIA?

HØYMER STEEN: For us, it is important that the number of visitors to the shopping center is high and in correlation with the shop’s rental costs.

ACROSS: WHAT IS THE BEST LOCATION FOR A BIK BOK STORE WITHIN A SHOPPING CENTER?

HØYMER STEEN: The best location would be close to our competitors.

ACROSS: DO YOU ADAPT YOUR RANGE TO THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF THE LOCAL POPULATION?

HØYMER STEEN: Our collection is the same for all the countries we operate in, but we might distribute different amounts of one style to different countries.

ACROSS: WHAT IS BIK BOK’S MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY?
HØYMER STEEN: We have been selling online for two years now and it has been an important channel, as many of our clients have grown up with the internet and expect to have the possibility to shop online. Many also use our homepage for inspiration for their next visit to one of our physical stores.

ACROSS: LAST, BUT NOT LEAST: WHAT DO THE TWO WORDS “BIK BOK” MEAN?

HØYMER STEEN: Bik Bok is just a name. It doesn’t mean anything.

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