Store of the month march 2023: Thun’s
Outside Uppsala, we find Thuns, with a shop area of 3,300 square meters and over 300 suppliers. Now they have been appointed store of the month for March 2023 and in connection with this, we have interviewed the owners. Today the family business is run by the third generation and we have heard more about how they work with customer flows and strategies around the wide assortment.
Tell us about Thuns, how did it all start?
Thuns is a family business located approximately three kilometers outside of Uppsala, at Faringe station. The store was founded over 50 years ago and is run today by the third generation. What the founders Albert and Anna Thun first started was a factory, manufacturing jute ropes and plaster cloths that were sold to industries. Business went brilliantly and later the company developed into selling rugs, clothes, and porcelain to private customers. On that path, Albert and Anna’s children, and today’s grandchildren, continued to run the business. We are based in the same premises as the start and have expanded the shop space from the initial 300 square meters to today’s 3,300. Today we are a department store that is for the whole family and we have shoes, clothes, household utensils, interior design, and home textiles.
In the store, the customer will find several different brands, what kind of strategy do you have when it comes to your assortment?
We have over 300 different suppliers and our vision is that there should be something for everyone who comes to us and we mix the latest with the classics. Thanks to that we have our own premises, we can both have lower prices and regulate our own opening hours. Our opening hours are known to be odd and it is since the old factory hours. The fact that we are closed on Sundays is not as popular with the customers as it is with the staff, but with that, we have noticed a greater pressure on Saturdays. The customers have learned to visit when we are open, it just takes a little more planning.
What would you say is your greatest recipe for success?
Our customers come to us not only for our lower prices but also for our amazing staff. We would like all our customers to feel seen. We are there for them and want them to feel welcome. Personal service is very important to us and our skilled staff is always on-site, everyone who works with us is an expert in some field. We don’t have a particularly high staff turnover, which we think is a success!
How do you work with the customer flow to your store?
We hope and believe that we have a loyal clientele who are happy to tell others about their visit and then return. We are far out in the country so the only way to get here is by car. Our challenge is for customers to feel that it is worthwhile to go the extra mile to visit us. Therefore, it is important that we can offer more than just shopping, such as a bite to eat at the neighboring Café Gobiten. Every autumn we also have a fashion show, which has become very popular in recent years. Then customers from near and far come here, we show off autumn’s fashion and stay extra open for shopping afterward. Before the pandemic, we had three evenings with 450 people per evening. The tickets sold out in 20 minutes – unbelievably fun!
What do you think the store of the future will look like?
A large and important customer group with us is our elderly and they appreciate being able to go and squeeze and feel the goods. Not everyone is comfortable with online shopping and we must not exclude them. We want customers to continue coming to us for personal shopping and the experience. Today, customers spend more hours with us and the average customer buys 10 items per occasion.