With great furniture comes great responsibility
The first BoConcept brand store was opened in Paris, France in 1993. Twenty years on, there are more than 250 units around the world delivering a shopping experience that prides itself on a unique, exceptional and friendly customer service. Jamie Brown reports.
It was these strong set of beliefs that grabbed the attention of Adam Davidson and ultimately led him to become a franchise owner of the international furniture maker, BoConcept in June 2007. “I wanted a brand name, a name that had value. I didn’t want to be paying to use a name that had no recognition,” Adam comments.
Adam also went on to clarify that there was more to BoConcept that appealed to him than just a recognisable brand name: “It is an incredibly efficient system, a quality product, with many unique characteristics, no other furniture retailers can offer such exceptionally high levels of customisation possible with the furniture.”
Adam had already gained insight and experience in the furniture world, having been the Merchandise Manager for Reid Furniture, but this didn’t mean that he received any less time and training from the BoConcept team. “There is a set system every franchise owner goes through. The system is so well documented and the trainers from Denmark explain it all. It is easy to understand and follow. The training covers sales, product knowledge, systems, staff management, space management and interior design.”
For any franchise owner to succeed, its of the utmost importance that the franchisor supplies high worth training and Adam couldn’t be more complimentary of the service: “Training is geared to fit what each franchise owner and store team need, the standard is very high. It is an incredibly simple franchise to run, hard work but simple.”
Many franchises don’t change their own policies and systems to fit the local demographic but at BoConcept things are different as Adam explained: “They work with a principle called ‘freedom with responsibility’. They do not force any system or method on franchise owners. They recommend how we do things but we have the freedom to adapt to local needs. I have learned quickly, their way works, why take a franchise and then try and reinvent the wheel.”
It was the extensive amount of support that BoConcept offered to Adam that cemented his opinion that this was the right franchise opportunity for him: “The support from BoConcept is exceptional. I personally have found the space management and interior design support the most valuable. I can call on a UK Stylist, a UK Marketing Coordinator and the UK Country Manager for assistance.” Adam also added what he has found to be most beneficial: “I love hearing about the most successful stores around the world and what they do to be a top performing store. BoConcept is great at learning from each other.”
BoConcept encourages and guides their franchise owners to open new locations within their territories. “Sales are up 15 per cent on last year with a 55 per cent increase in bottom line. BoConcept have recently introduced a new store opening system so I am looking forward to using this for my second and third store. I expect to have the Aberdeen store open by Easter and Edinburgh by 2015.”
Adam concludes by telling us whom he felt the international furniture brand would suit: “People management skills and ability to build relationships with customers will be the most important skills. If the sales team are trained, motivated and up for the challenge then the product and brand will do the rest. All types of people can succeed in BoConcept.”