Interior design stores in central locations are increasingly popular due to changes in buying habits and more and more people not owning cars. Vepsäläinen is taking on a pioneering role by opening a new store in the city centre of Tampere.
Sales Director Mikko Vuorela at Vepsäläinen has reason to be excited.
“Ratina shopping centre is located near great parking facilities and public transportation connections. People can easily drop in to have a look or make an order by car, foot or public transportation. And if somebody wants to take their new sofa home straight away, Ratina has modern loading platforms for effortless transportation.”
Vepsäläinen is due to open its 1,600-square metre store in Ratina shopping centre, in the heart of Tampere, in April 2018.
Tampere’s new store in Sponda’s shopping center Ratina is among the first ones Vepsäläinen has opened at city center. The store opened in November 2017 at the shopping center Citycenter in Helsinki is also situated in an urban location. Citycenter’s store has got off to a good start after its inauguration.
High-quality stores benefit from each other
“We are incredibly happy to have gained a rental agreement in Ratina. Sponda modified the facilities flexibly according to our wishes and we will soon open a new store comprising two floors at a prime location. I believe the location is excellent for business, both for us and other shopkeepers. High-quality stores offer each other synergy benefits,” says Vuorela.
Vepsäläinen is a pioneer in the furniture business, including in terms of brand imports.
“Our largest store in Espoo boasts approximately 50 well-known brands. Our European colleagues often marvel at that. Normally, one store only presents a few well-known design brands.”
New business facilities for modern buying behaviour
The new business concept revolving around central location is based on people’s buying habits, which have seen significant changes in the past decade, according to Vuorela:
“People specifically come to us for customised, i.e. made-to-order furniture. Transportation and installation services are a fact of life these days – people rarely show up with a trailer to buy a sofa anymore.”
Nevertheless, Vuorela feels that business facilities located “in the woods” are still important and Vepsäläinen is not about to give them up: the company simply wants to offer new sales locations to supplement the old ones. Modern service culture is becoming more diverse to meet customer demand.
Be where the people are
According to Vuorela, Finnish interior design culture has become more trend-oriented and playful and the changes are mirrored in the buying culture. People might buy a carpet or a lamp to match their new sofa and make more impulsive interior design purchases. Stores located on the outskirts of cities do not cater to such spontaneous shopping habits. Instead, shops are needed where the consumers are: in the city centre.
Vepsäläinen’s store in Ratina is a nice place to drop by spontaneously.
“We offer experiences and even surprising alternatives to meet customer demand. You will always find something new even if you visit every month,” says Vuorela.
High demand for interior design stores
In addition to the Vepsäläinen store, Ratina will host the shops of many other interior design-related brands, including Finlayson, Vallila, Värisilmä, Gide and a new arrival in Tampere, Stockholm-based Granit. An Eurokangas store will also open in Ratina to enhance the city’s fabric offerings.
“Another new shop due to open in Ratina is Juhlamaailma, a store offering theme-oriented interior design, such as balloons and party decorations,” says Mervi Ahola, Ratina’s Shopping Centre Manager at Sponda. Ahola is excited to welcome Vepsäläinen and other interior design stores in Ratina.
“Customers have clearly indicated they want furniture stores in the city centre, where they have been missing. We can now provide services for city-centre residents who do not have a car; they no longer need to travel to the big furniture shops located far away. This also an excellent development in terms of the overall growth of the city centre,” says Ahola.
Interior design tips for 2018
- Mix brands: for example, get your dining room table and chairs from different designers.
- Use colours boldly: you can paint an accent wall in a different shade or liven up a light-coloured couch with flashy cushions.
- Combine light colours and black: e.g. wood and beige with black.
- Copper is in: a frosty light blue works well with warm copper.
- Add warmth and softness: bohemian velvet fabrics are making a comeback.