Putting the play back into retail with Hummel

We spoke to Claus Thykjær, former Head of Retail, to find out more about the secrets of their success and what the future holds.

  • Topic
    Store operations, Retail trends, Customer experience
  • Vertical
    Sports & Outdoor

Meet Claus Thykjær, former Head of Retail at Hummel

Playing for change is part of Danish sportswear brand, Hummel’s DNA.They’ve been synonymous with sport for almost 100 years, they aren’t afraid to speak up for what they believe in, and they have the courage to stand out from the crowd. And, right now, they are in the middle of an incredible growth journey.

Historically, Hummel focussed on wholesale but dared to dream big and, in 2020, opened their first physical stores. They now have 18 stores in Denmark and are expanding throughout Europe, especially in the countries where they sponsor leading sports teams.

We spoke to Claus Thykjær, former Head of Retail at Hummel, to find out more about the secrets of their success and what the future holds for a brand with the ambition to become one of the top ten sports brands in the world. 

Thanks for joining us, Claus. We’d love to know what you think makes Hummel different from other sports brands?

Like any other business – whether they are a sports brand or not – we want to increase turnover but we like to think the way we do it is different. Our Company Karma is built around the ethos of you get what you give. We look to grow sustainably and, through our purpose projects, we want to make a true impact by initiating change and supporting others to do the same.

We are committed to doing business while doing more good in the world – that’s why we say: “Let’s play for change.”

This is why playing is such a big part of the experience we want our customers to have when they walk into our stores. We want them to smile, have fun, and remember how great it was to visit a Hummel store.

What are your top tips for other retailers?

First off, invest. Invest in the right tools and tech that will make life easier for your store associates and make your stores run more smoothly. Yes, we’re living through a time of some economic uncertainty but now is the time to act. If you stand still and don’t invest in solutions for the future, you’ll get left behind. This is especially true when it comes to omnichannel.

You absolutely need to make sure you have omni capabilities because your future will depend on it.

Secondly, put your people first. People are one of the three Ps of our Company Karma I mentioned. The more you give to your people, the more they’ll give back to you. Train your employees and give them the right tools so they can provide fantastic shopping experiences for your customers.

And, finally, make your stores the coolest stores – with the coolest shopping experiences – there are. They should reflect your brand, look great, feel great and your customers should love spending time in them.

You mentioned technology. What role does technology play in your stores?

We’rve gone live with an omnichannel project and the POS in our stores are a central part of that project. It’s important that integrations to other systems are easy to set up and for us to know that – no matter what we want to do or integrate – it can easily be done.

Based on our experience with other systems, Sitoo is much easier to implement and use and their support is second to none. The technology helps us a lot in the day to day running of our stores.

Of course, the POS looks great but it also means our store associates can serve our customers wherever they are and we’re now redesigning all of our cash desks to create new and better customer experiences.

Hummel's CEO, Allan Vad Nielsen, says: “Through People, Planet and Purpose we seek to grow and act in a more sustainable direction – with the aim to drive change and pave the way for a better tomorrow. For our planet, as well as for our people” – we look for this to be echoed in our partners and, without doubt, we know Sitoo is in alignment with us.

From our amazing customers to our partners and in-house experts, we have access to some of the best and brightest minds working in retail today. They share their insight with us and now we’re sharing it with you. Browse more interviews.

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