One stop shop
By adopting a new profile and developing shops with a brighter look, Svenska Pressbyrån is preparing for the future
Pressbyrån has been part of the Swedish city picture since the beginning of the 1900s. The company started out with the sale of newspapers at railway stations and has, 100 years later, turned into a nationwide chain of kiosks and shops, with approximately 330 sales outlets throughout Sweden. Pressbyrån is currently an exceptionally strong brand name and has over 1.8 million customer visits every week.
Ulrika Kerje, marketing director for Pressbyrån explains: ‘The company was established in 1899 and the name Pressbyrån was registered in 1906. We have just celebrated 100 years, which is something we are very proud of. We started off selling newspapers and magazines but has over the years become more diversified into fast food services, including sandwiches and beverages, fruits, chocolate, coffee, tickets and lottery. Our stores are situated in locations where many people travel through each day, such as, malls, central stations, airports and universities.’
Pressbyrån is part of a larger group – Reitan Servicehandel AS. This organisation comprises kiosks, shops and garages. The Reitan Servicehandel group consists of 7-Eleven in Scandinavia, the national Narvesen chains in Norway, Pressbyrån and SpaceWorld in Norway. The group also comprises the distribution of reading materials in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as Engrospartner – for the distribution of convenience trade products in Norway.
Being part of this larger group increases the growth opportunities for the company and Pressbyrån is currently looking to launch a further 20 stores this year. Ulrika elaborates: ‘We are planning to open stores where there is a great demand for them. We are not just targeting the biggest cities in Sweden – we aim to grow all over the country so we are looking at locations in remote areas as well. The next stores that we will be opening are in Mariestad in the south of Sweden and Piteå and Sundsvall in the north. As we continuously add more services to our concept we feel that we can deliver better services to our customers, even at locations, which are out of the city.’
She continues: ‘These 20 stores will be of the same concept as our existing stores but in addition to these we are developing a new concept for future stores. The first store that will be launched with this new concept will be this summer in Odenplan in Stockholm. For this location we want to add light and provide a warmer atmosphere. This will hopefully make the store more welcoming for our clients and easier to use. It is important for us to learn from this new concept and evaluate every aspect of it to ensure we are meeting our customers needs.’
Pressbyrån is also planning to launch a new coffee concept, as Ulrika explains: ‘We are launching this new coffee concept in August this year at 160 stores and in addition to this we are also investing in new machines, which provide fresh coffee on the go. Time is essential to our customers so it is important that they have a selection of coffee products they can get fast.’
She continues: ‘The decision was taken to invest in our coffee products because we saw a gap in the market. After the Finnish, the Swedes drink the most coffee in the world, averaging around 3.3 cups of coffee a day. We wanted to make the most of this and deliver a better coffee product to our customers. This has been very successful so far and our goal after the launch of the new coffee products is to sell twice as much coffee as before.’
Experiencing a significant amount of growth, Pressbyrån believes its success is simply down to the hard work of its franchisors. Ulrika explains: ‘We always try to improve our offering every day and this is achieved through the knowledge and experience of our franchisors. We value everyone within the organisation as they define the quality of our company. Historically we have had some tough years so we have learnt that you don’t achieve success for free. You have to work at it every day, every hour and every minute – what is good today is history tomorrow, therefore there is always something that can be improved upon.’
She concludes: ‘We have had an extremely successful couple of years, which has resulted in significant growth of 10.4 per cent comparable growth in 2006. As long as the company makes a profit and has strong owners who are willing to invest in new stores it will continue to grow. Opening the new 20 stores is the main focus for us at the moment and then we intend to look for future growth.’