Last month Danish value retailer Tiger were named one of the fastest growing retail outlets in the UK. Their quirky chain of what have been described as ‘posh pound shops’ sell a multitude of cut-price items from bicycle bells to cake decorations and everything in between.
Following on from this success, Philip Bier, UK managing director of Tiger has announced plans to focus on travel hubs with a series of small scale stores. Bier hopes to open Tiger stores in at least 10% of London Underground Stations, starting with a 700 square foot small format store opening in St James Park Underground Station this week. Speaking to Retail Week, he described the move as opening up a whole new scope for the business:
“There are 270 Underground stations. I’m not proposing 270 Tiger stores, but 10% of stations could take a Tiger shop.”.
Bier opened the first Tiger store in the UK ten years ago and suggests that their recent success has been achieved by opening stores in more affluent areas such as Kingston-upon-Thames and Brighton. They now have 38 stores now installed in London and the South East – and many others opening further afield. Shoppers are drawn to their range of affordable homewares, gifts toys and quirky objet d’art – often entering the shop for one item and coming out with bags full of other curious items that they didn’t realise they needed.
Tiger have experienced steady growth in the past four years, opening between six and eight stores a year – taking their total amount of stores in the UK to 74 – with 900 employees. Bier expects this growth to continue for the foreseeable future – besides his plans for Underground stations he also has his sights set on many other locations in London which do not yet have a Tiger store – these include Hackney, Covent Garden, The Strand, Leicester Square, Balham, Brixton and an additional Oxford Street store, where he does not view their potential proximity as a problem:
“We still have loads to do in Central London and we could have the shops very close to each other.”
UK Tiger stores account for more than 10% of their total worldwide offer – they have a total of 605 stores in 28 countries – most of which are also very successful. Last year Tiger’s parent company, Zebra reported a 68% increase in profits to £18.6 million. As we reported on the Barber blog earlier this week, homewares have seen a rise in sales during March as consumer confidence increases so we can only expect to see Tiger’s success continue into 2016.