Relevant products and critical expertise when customers needed it most, have given a growth of 4.4% in total when Elkjøp Nordic ends the financial year amid the corona crisis.
With the crisis, the demand for digital competence and the need for equipment increased considerably almost overnight throughout the Nordic region. During the lockdown of Norway, in March and April, 4 out of 10 worked from home. The situation means that very many have to deal with challenges they did not have in the workplace. In addition, teachers, students and parents have been in the middle of a large teaching experiment and employees in the retail trade have been given a completely new working day with, among other things, guidelines and measures that were unthinkable just a couple of months ago.
A safe shopping experience
- For us at Elkjøp, the safety of our customers and employees always comes first. In the demanding situation we have been in recently, the most important thing for us is to take our responsibility by reducing the risk of infection for everyone around us, says Erik G. Sønsterud, CEO of Elkjøp Nordic.
Elkjøp Nordic operates stores in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, four countries that have handled the corona crisis in very different ways. Restrictions by the authorities have also affected countries from country to country. Among other things, Denmark has had closed shopping centers, which has also had consequences for several of Elkjøp's stores. Nevertheless, the company has managed to maintain a good presence, perhaps primarily through offering products and services people need in situations like this.
Solving digital challenges at home
- I must say I am extremely humble towards the job thousands of employees across the Nordic countries have put in. They have responded quickly and with high competence to be able to safely help our customers secure what they need to get the domestic infrastructure up and running. I cannot thank them enough. When everything has to work from home, we play a socially critical role in many ways, by keeping the digital wheels turning, and this also clearly affects our sales figures for the extraordinary period we have now been in, says Erik G. Sønsterud, CEO of Elkjøp Nordic.
During the crisis, there has been a great demand from all northerners in need of help with the home office or with making time go a little faster with new home entertainment in quarantine. This has resulted in a total growth in the Nordic region of 24% in the last 5 weeks. The growth has been greatest in Denmark and Norway, with 30% and 37% respectively in the period. Online growth overall has been enormous, doubling in the five-week period.
Put to the test
The electronics industry in general may have been at the forefront of the major transformation in the retail trade and the shift to a more digital and omnichannel business model. Nevertheless, the ability to adapt was seriously tested when the crisis hit Elkjøp Nordic.
- We have developed a lot in recent years, but when customers overnight were prevented from, or did not dare, visit our stores, our adaptability was really put to the test. In just a few weeks, we launched several initiatives that have given our customers more flexibility and a better shopping experience online throughout the Nordic region. Among other things, we have established a new platform for virtual shopping, with help and advice in store over video call. We also launched contact-free click & collect, with pickup in the parking lot as well as contact-free payment methods. We have also introduced a number of measures to limit the risk of infection for customers and employees in the store; such as increased cleaning, distance marking, information hygiene and extended opening hours for people in the risk group, Sønsterud explains.
According to the authorities, the crisis is far from over, and the uncertainty both in the economy and among most people will affect society for a long time to come.
- This has been, and still is, a very difficult time, where our main focus all the way has been to take care of our employees and customers, prevent the spread of infection and facilitate good shopping experiences. Nevertheless, the period has also been an eye opener. The innovations and lessons are many, and much of what we have done in a short time in recent weeks will continue to develop Elkjøp. The companies that emerge stronger from this are the ones that manage to deliver the best customized customer experience across sales platforms, Sønsterud concludes.
|Sales growth||11 weeks to 21 March||5 weeks to 25 April||52 weeks to 25 April|
|Elkjøp Nordic online||15,3%||98,1%||20,2%|