Interview • 13.07.2020

All knitted and sewn up: an online yarn retailer takes a stationary foothold

iXtenso’s interview with Joachim Hansen, retail manager at Hobbii

It’s all about yarn at Hobbii. From now on, the Danish retailer does not just sell exclusively online but also in physical stores. Joachim Hansen describes how digitization and personal contact interact in the retail stores.

A young man with blond hair holds several packages of wool and smiles into the...
Joachim Hansen, retail manager at Hobbii
Source: Hobbii

Mr. Hansen, why is the company now also active in the bricks and mortar retail?

Joachim Hansen: One of the biggest challenges of the online business is the fact that the customers can’t touch the merchandise. In the yarn business, this is even more critical since the sensation of softness is so individual. Some people find untreated sheep wool soft as summer rain while others think Baby Merino itches like crazy. 

A different issue is the calibration on computer screens which means a color can be displayed in very different ways depending on different screens. With our physical stores we have eliminated these issues and the customers can even easily compare colors and qualities. 

Our physical stores are meant to be a complement to our online webshop and will accommodate the customers who enjoy browsing in the local yarn shop, taking in the look, feel and smell of yarn and also please the customers who are skeptical about the look and feel of the online products. With a physical store the customer is more likely to leave the store with the perfect product for their project. 

What is the concept behind the stores? 

The concept is basically to extend the brand into the offline market and keep the brand top of mind within our target group. The idea of the stores is that they should feel light and inviting to the customer and they should be able to find whatever you’re looking for with the same ease as an online shopping experience. Our solution has demanded a high investment in light fixtures to make all the colors of the yarns stand out and simple and easy readable ESL signs that announce what you will find on the shelves below.

Someone scans a ball of wool
Source: Hobbii

How is online and offline shopping linked here?

Besides the company color being present throughout the store, the stores are equipped with ESL price tags that are linked to the webshop which makes sure the prices are the same whether you buy online or in the store. 

What does the technical implementation look like?

We have implemented ESL price tags on all of our yarn shelves which makes it easy to find the price on the yarn. Our accessories on the walls have been a challenge – with more than 2500 different products on a limited wall space – but we have found a great solution in having price scanners placed in strategic places around the store. 

What are the advantages for retailers?

One of the advantages of having a physical store is the fact that you are in close contact with your customers and you get their feedback right away. This way you have the opportunity to take their opinions into account and adjust accordingly. 

Another advantage is that the staff in the stores help put a real face to the webshop. The direct contact between customers and staff will make the company profile even more personal. 

Is one mainstay – brick and mortar or online – no longer sufficient these days? Why should retailers diversify?

For a business like the yarn business, having both a physical presence and an online presence makes sense. For our target group, yarn is a passion and they love the process of perusing and buying yarn just as much as the process of knitting and crocheting. The customer today is present both online and offline and it is important to have touchpoints where the customer expects to meet us and thus keep the brand top of mind whenever a yarn craving occurs. 

Interview: Katja Laska, Natascha Mörs

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Unmanned stores: One idea, many concepts
19.04.2021   #self-checkout systems #app

Unmanned stores: One idea, many concepts

How can customers shop 24/7?

Shopping, around the clock, without staff, with self-checkout option – the idea behind unmanned stores is always the same, the approach can be different.The company Wanzl has developed various concepts. iXtenso took a look at them at ...

Thumbnail-Photo: ComputerSalg: Impressive growth, new premises and more technology...
30.04.2021   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #price labelling

ComputerSalg: Impressive growth, new premises and more technology

To keep up with the growth and the rapidly increasing inventory, the company moved to a new domicile in 2020

The growth comet ComputerSalg, which started as a physical store in 1996, where you could buy computers, hardware and software, has today grown to be one of Denmark's largest webshops. The corona crisis has accelerated the business further at ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Assortment planning: Knowing what customers want...
17.05.2021   #customer analysis #artificial intelligence

Assortment planning: Knowing what customers want

Bonprix relies on AI-supported assortment design

Which skirt is currently particularly popular? Should the dress remain on sale? How did the sweater sell last month? Product managers in the fashion industry ask themselves these and many other questions every day. At bonprix, the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Poland starts cooperation with Sephora...
11.06.2021   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Poland starts cooperation with Sephora

Plewiska/Poland - Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is expanding its cooperation with the cosmetics company Sephora. In April 2021, the company therefore commissioned a new distribution center to support its e-commerce and B2B business in Pruszków, Poland.

The new warehouse covers an area of 7,000 square meters, making it almost 2,000 square meters larger than the previous one. One of the innovative solutions used here for Sephora is self-driving vehicles called Weasels®, which automate transport ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 4 applications of AR and VR that can transform your retail sales...
19.07.2021   #sales promotion #product presentation

4 applications of AR and VR that can transform your retail sales

Enhanced reality applications for sales promotions and product marketing

Changes in your marketing strategy or adaptation of new technologies can serve as a boost to your sales. Customers value innovative or immersive product presentations. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Hobbii has knitted a huge business together
01.04.2021   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #electric displays

Hobbii has knitted a huge business together

The enormous growth has been possible because Hobbii has chosen technology that supports the processes in the warehouse and in the stores.

The yarn company Hobbii is Denmark's fastest-growing company. In a very short time, they have managed to create a huge business that is supported by modern technology and efficient work processes when handling the expected 1.5 million orders in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital workers in retail: More time for important things...
19.04.2021   #personnel management #software applications

Digital workers in retail: More time for important things

Relieving employees with intelligent automation

Retail customers today demand superior quality and a world-class service experience in real time. Companies must strike a balance between the need for qualified personnel and high customer demands if they do not want to jeopardize the satisfaction ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Payments keep going digital and mobile
06.04.2021   #mobile payment #payment systems

Payments keep going digital and mobile

2.7 billion people to use mobile wallet apps by 2022?

As businesses open their doors online, payments solutions adjust to the change – and so do people. In a study conducted for Payvision, Kaleido Intelligence reports on the latest trends and forecasts in mobile wallets usage across the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: German retail specialist AWEK microdata GmbH joins Zucchetti Group...
07.06.2021   #epos systems #epos software

German retail specialist AWEK microdata GmbH joins Zucchetti Group

Boosting the Group’s leading position in the DACH region

For over 30 years, AWEK microdata GmbH has been one of the leading German providers of checkout software and comprehensive services for medium-sized retailers.AWEK designs euroSUITE, a professional software solution for medium-sized businesses for ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Reflexis Systems Named a “Leader” in Nucleus Research’s 2021 WFM...
30.06.2021   #personnel management #coronavirus

Reflexis Systems Named a “Leader” in Nucleus Research’s 2021 WFM Technology Value Matrix

This marks the third consecutive year as a Leader for Reflexis, now part of Zebra Technologies

Reflexis Systems (now part of Zebra Technologies), a leading provider of AI-powered workforce management and real-time execution solutions for multi-site businesses in retail, food service, hospitality and banking, has been recognized by Nucleus ...

Supplier

EuroShop
EuroShop
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal
iXtenso - retail trends
iXtenso - retail trends
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
TCPOS GMBH
TCPOS GMBH
Saarwiesenstr. 5
66333 Völklingen
Elo Touch Solutions (Belgium) NV
Elo Touch Solutions (Belgium) NV
Wingepark 5B / 301
3011 Rotselaar