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Interview with Mikkel Grene, chief executive of Søstrene Grene

'Due to our presence in France and Germany it gives us confidence to continue this expansion in the UK'

Chief executive of Søstrene Grene, Mikkel Grene's parents Inger and Knud Grene opened the store Søstrene Grene in 1973, introducing a store with a self-service concept in Aarhus, Denmark. 'Søstrene Grene' is Danish for 'the Grene sisters'. The brand, specialising in home decor, small furniture, and hobby products, has since grown its influence. 'There are just under 300 stores across Europe, 27 stores in the UK (one in Scotland, three in Northern Ireland and 23 in England), with about 15 more to come before the end of the year,' says Grene in an interview with the Retail Bulletin about the Danish homeware retailer's rapidly expanding presence across the UK.

Photo: Søstrene Grene.

The company has kept a secure footing over the years and has stayed mindful of its customers and growing global trends and needs. They are currently working on a product range which considers impact on the climate, with Grene explaining that they recognise that as a retailer, they are responsible for lowering their carbon footprint.

One of the franchise's keys to success has been the team's willingness to evolve with changing times, and Grene explains the retail outlet's new frontiers don't just include expansion into new geographical locations, but also growth into new digital landscapes: 'We see online as an extension of our physical stores, and it is very important to us that the two play together and complement each other,' he says. 'The most important part of it is that our online universe really is a benefit for our customers.'

Each market has its own challenges, with the UK being no exception. Grene says of their UK clientele: 'In general, we have been very well received by the UK customers in our current stores. We are eager to expand both in the larger cities and in smaller corners of the UK, and due to our presence in some of the largest markets in Europe such as France and Germany it gives us great confidence to continue this expansion in the UK as well.'

Read the full interview here:

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