Store of the month february 2023: Klädkammar’n
Member of the Month for February 2023 is Klädkammar’n and we find the store in Laholm. Klädkammar’n offers both women’s and men’s clothing and has been around since 1993. The store celebrates 30 years this year and we interviewed owner Liana Christensen to find out more about how she works with choosing the assortment and what she thinks are the most unexpected challenges of running a store.
Tell us about Klädkammar’n, how did it all start?
Klädkammar’n opened on February 26th, 1993 by Inger Olsson, and was from the beginning a solely women’s clothing store. I worked in the store back in 2010-2011 and was then offered by Inger to buy the store, I declined then because I was offered other work. Two years later, Inger contacted me again and then I felt ready, so in 2012 I accepted the offer and took over the store. I took over together with a colleague who was with me for the first three years. This year Klädkammar’n celebrates its 30th anniversary and I celebrate 11 years as the owner! After we took over, we restyled the store and put our stamp on both the interior and gradually also the assortment. An airy showroom was soon furnished in the attic, where we held fashion shows and received customers for personal shopping. After four years, the neighboring premises were empty, so we took down the wall and started a men’s department there. At the same time, my husband Kenneth stepped into the business after leaving his previous company, and we became partners at work as well. After a while, the premises felt too cramped again, so when the store on the other side moved, it was time to tear down another wall, and we added that space in the middle of the pandemic. We moved the men’s department to the new space and in the former part we were able to furnish a cozy lounge. There, on the soft sofas, the girl gang, work colleagues and others who have booked private time in the store can hang out and enjoy something good while we talk about wardrobe planning, trends and smart tips for how to wear clothes in different ways. We have also worked a lot with social media for a long time and the customers therefore sometimes come quite a long way to visit our store.
What kind of strategy do you have when it comes to the assortment?
I base the planning on my gut feeling, what our customers look for when they enter the store and what our partners offer. What is sustainable and what is good for the company. It should feel good all the way and I am usually very safe and secure when I make my purchases.
What would you say is your greatest asset, and your biggest challenge?
We have a genuine interest in working with our customers, they should feel seen. We offer a high level of service and have knowledge that arouses the customer’s interest in us and the store. We are very open and personal, and it should feel as personal when you see us in a live broadcast as when you enter the store. Klädkammar’n is located in Laholm, which is a small town, and we have a loyal clientele, but also a lot of tourists in the summer. With determination and hard work, we get customers to find us here even during the rest of the year, and our personnel is fantastic! They are very talented, committed and up to speed on what is happening.Together we are a well-functioning team. One challenge is that the store has grown very quickly, with a new larger men’s department, many new customers, live broadcasts on social media and private viewings. We must be able to maintain our fantastic increase and growth in the future as well.
What motivates you to run a store?
First, it is so much fun to work with people, I really like the customer meeting. I feel that I am contributing to others. They need my help and I think it’s fun that I can give it to them. It also feels very good to be able to make a difference for the store but also for the entire city center.
Is there anything that wasn’t what you expected when it comes to running a store?
The adversity of the covid pandemic was replaced by a commitment from society, the customer support we received, and the fact that many new customers sought out smaller towns and stores – and stayed. There are so many external influences that govern. A pandemic, social economy, and war are factors that affect business and that you cannot control yourself. During the pandemic, we fought hard, we were forced to cut back on staff and had to find new ways to reach out. We invested in live broadcasting on social media, which was a great success that we continued with and developed even more. It is one of the factors that contributed to our rapid growth. In the worst adversity, you have to find new ways and for us, it was a real success!