Norrøna steps into a new frontier of outdoor fashion with Sitoo
Since 1929, premium Norwegian outdoor brand, Norrøna, have dared to do things differently, to push boundaries and to pioneer new frontiers for durable outdoor products and equipment.
Now, nearly a century later, excellence, quality and an unflinching desire to keep moving forward combine to make Norrøna one of the fastest growing outdoor fashion brands in the world – with stores in Norway, Sweden, Finland, the United States, France, and Switzerland.
In 2021 alone, Norrøna opened ten stores. It’s why they needed to find a Point of Sale (POS) and Unified Commerce Platform capable of scaling with them, that would make life easier for their store associates, and would be compliant across different markets.
“The key thing for us was to find a stable system, with omni-channel and unified commerce functionality, that has automated processes and makes the job easier for our staff so they can spend even more time speaking to customers”, says Bård Kvamme, Director at Norrøna.
“Sitoo was recommended to us and what impressed us the most was the clear, relentless focus Sitoo has on making software that’s perfect for retail and perfect for different markets. We want to have the same system in all our markets so it was also a big plus that Sitoo is compliant out-of-the-box in all the countries we have stores or plan to open them.
“Some of the other companies we looked at are still really stuck with fixed systems that require a lot of big projects to add additional functionality, for example. Sitoo is much more agile, quick, and powerful and it’s a great fit because we like to move quickly.”
Physical retail plays a huge role in Norrøna’s vision, growth and the success they’ve enjoyed. They work incredibly hard on finding – and retaining – the right people to work in their stores. Storytelling, product knowledge, and fully understanding the needs of the customer all combine to make the experience of visiting a Norrøna one that lives long in the memory.
Bård Kvamme adds: “We use storytelling in our stores to help our customers understand the products, the importance of sustainability, the way we design, the way we think, and our history. It’s part of the reasons we have a lot of core users and fans. But we try to elevate the in-store experience even further by making the stores destinations. In our flagship stores in New York, Oslo, and Stockholm we have a calendar of events to bring our community together.
“We’re judged everyday by our customers – on our products, our services and the experience they have. It’s their behavior that pushes us forward and we have to be able to react and adapt to it quickly. Our owner’s mantra is to always keep moving forward – it’s why continuous development is so important for us. This mantra applies as much to our retail spaces and stores as it does our products.”
Jens Levin, Sitoo co-founder and CEO, believes Sitoo and Norrøna will be the perfect fit both now and long into the future.
“Norrøna is a true shining light in retail and really is pushing boundaries of what physical stores can – and should – be,” he says. “Norrøna puts people first, pioneers sustainability and creates market-leading products. Like Sitoo, Norrøna moves fast and always looks to push the boundaries of what’s possible. The journey the company is on has already been remarkable and we can’t wait to see what the next stage brings.”
Bård Kvamme’s Top Tips For Retailers
1. Keep moving forward
I’ve been in retail for twenty years and the most successful retailers are those who don’t settle. Consumer behavior, employee expectations, and technology all change all the time and if you don’t change with them you’ll get left behind.
2. Prioritize the experience
Physical retail without any kind of experience is boring – especially when it’s so easy to buy everything online. It’s why you need some kind of X-factor. If you offer your customers something different – like the events we run in our stores – then they’ll continue to shop with you and visit your stores. Having people in your stores who really care about customers is also key. In 2022, if your stores don’t offer some kind of elevated experience then you need to develop one really quickly or else your business will die.
3. It’s all about the customer
Retail is always all about the customer. It’s about being on the floor, speaking to customers, listening to them and understanding what they want. There’s a risk, especially for fast growing retailers, that top management becomes detached from what’s actually happening in the stores. It’s why we made the decision that, even though we’re growing and expanding into more markets, we want to keep the mentality of being close to the business. We spend a lot of time in our stores, with our shop managers, and with our staff so we can be close to our customers and understand exactly what’s going on. Whatever you do, always make sure you stay consumer centric.