Alte Giesserei Igel, Düsseldorf
Without the Corona crisis, the concept store "Alte Giesserei" wouldn’t exist in its current form. Owner Detlef Igel and his team have created virtue from necessity, and much more.
From agency to concept store
Even before they embarked on their retail adventure in the spring of 2020, they were flat-out busy as the largest distribution agency for contemporary label Drykorn - covering the whole of Germany, except the south. They had just moved their office and showroom from Kaiserswerther Straße in Düsseldorf to the site of a former metal foundry in Erkrath.
The concept store was opened at great speed during the first lockdown: Over 1,100 square meters, a great lifestyle mix of fashion, shoes, beauty and interior is offered in the special ambience of the old industrial building. Drykorn plays by far the leading role among the fashion brands at the "Alte Giesserei Igel".
Fashion, Shoes, Beauty, Interior
Small Business, approx. 20 staff
Build customer base and customer experience
The challenge: Positioning yourself as a successful newcomer to the retail sector
Even though Detlef Igel's team was familiar with retail thanks to their work at the agency, planning, implementing and, above all, successfully operating the opening of a new store on their own was - and continues to be - an exciting challenge for all concerned. Especially at a location with no walk-in customers.
With the cloud-based merchandise management system from advarics, a suitable technical infrastructure was quickly found and then tailored to the needs of the newly founded concept store. Flexibly scalable, it offers ideal conditions for multi-channel sales.
In particular, it was the advarics "total package" that immediately convinced Detlef Igel in his choice. The advarics solution offers lots of added value in terms of the digitalization of retail processes: All transactions, bookings and analysis are available via real time mobile, independent of location. It all happens on the back of a rental model, without financial risk, and with up to 80 percent less infrastructure.
The ease of use of the modules and the optimized processes, e.g. through the EDI connection of suppliers and the automated transfer of cash register closings and supplier invoices, enables the team to give customers 100% focus.
"I believe in the future of brick-and-mortar retail...if you can engage customers."
Development, nurturing and growth of customer base
The basis for building up a customer base was an e-mail distribution list - 2,500 contacts who thus far were regularly invited to the Igel agency sales promotions. Many of them could be won over as customers for the retail format. They appreciated the charming ambience of the old brick building and its carefully curated contents. Thanks to the modern advarics customer database with CRM functions for systematically recording and preparing customer information, customers were targeted. Detailed customer ABC classifications, comprehensive customer turnover analyses and bonus systems, as well as campaign controls – these are just some of the CRM functions that are an integral part of the basic advarics system.
The digital shop window advarics.display as well as a direct ordering function on Instagram were further important digital touchpoints for addressing and retaining customers. advarics.display was provided free of charge by advarics during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now generating new digital workflows and customer journeys in stationary retail, and not only in the concept store Alte Giesserei.
Since opening, and thus long before there were temporary regulations to this effect, the Alte Giesserei has relied on Click & Meet: customers book a 90-minute slot and then have enough time to browse around at their leisure and finish their shopping with a drink. "We have had great experiences with this solution and will keep it. Our guests feel comfortable due to the limited number of customers and appreciate the competent advice," says Detlef Igel, describing the advantages of the concept.