Fitch carves niche in Nordic furniture store

Asko, Finland’s largest furniture manufacturer and retailer, has unveiled new interiors for its Helsinki flagship store with design by Fitch.

The 3716m2 flagship revamp is part of a repositioning strategy aimed at raising the chain’s profile in the face of increasing competition. Ikea’s move into the Finnish market in six months’ time has “focused many of the country’s furniture retailers into looking at how they present their offer as competition hots up”, says Fitch director Meurig Jones. Asko has 30 sites in Finland, Sweden and Norway.

“Asko is a cross between Ikea, Heal’s and Habitat, and it’s been around for 77 years so it has a strong heritage,” says Jones. “They make high quality contract and domestic furniture. Part of our brief was to help them to re-establish the values of what the Asko brand stands for, balancing modern, traditional and classic design,” he explains.

The consultancy re-evaluated the product ranges and grouped them together in departments which “sell a lifestyle rather than just the products”, says Jones.

Fitch has designed in-store graphics and literature, incorporating Asko’s identity. The concept is likely to be rolled out across all 30 sites, if the pilot performs well.

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