In September last year, the Hudson’s Bay Company opened their first Hudson’s Bay stores in the Netherlands, the first outside Canada in their 347-year history. With the expansion, the company strengthens its position as a player in Northwestern Europe.
What happened to them?
It has been awfully silent around the company ever since, until yesterday, when they told the press they will not have 20 stores in the Netherlands as they earlier announced, but that they will focus on having 15, of which 10 are already up and running.
It's hard to hide for them that the first results have been disappointing for the company in the Netherlands. Some experts question whether they will succeed at al within the Dutch retail landscape, in which recently some larger retail formulas have disappeared due to changing consumer preferences and a consumers’ shift to online.
Ever since we reported about the Barisieur, the coffee and tea brewing alarm clock, we had a lot of positive reactions from blog readers. The Barisieur can currently be pre-ordered at Indiegogo for $340
In order to see whether the Barisieur could be a commercial succes, we recently tested it among a group of Dutch consumers
In the past five years or so in retail, one of the biggest trends to have gone viral are smartwatches, particularly those that measure our levels of fitness and exercise. From the Apple Watch to the Fitbit, fitness enthusiasts everywhere are obsessed with getting their hands on the latest gadget to improve their exercise and calorie intake.
But what happens when you want to combine fitness with fashion? A lot of the time, smartwatch wearers everywhere want to record their activity levels every single second of the day, meaning not just at the gym, but at work, dates, family events or just generally out and about. The problem with most smartwatch technology is that they’re so obvious - a big, bulky piece of technology strapped to your wrist, making everyone aware that you are wearing one. MainTool have created an ideal concept for both fitness and fashion lovers everywhere.
There’s nothing worse to coming home after a hard day at work to realise that there’s no wine in the house. So, if only you had a wine subscription, right? But as well as wine-less shelves, we’ve all faced the inconvenience of missing a parcel quite a few times in our life. You spend ages looking forward to your package finally being delivered, only to arrive home to the dreaded ‘Sorry we missed you...’ slip. You then have to go through the notion of the awkward encounters with the neighbours it was left with, or driving miles to your local distribution centre and queuing for ages while wondering if this parcel is really worth it.
What if there was a way to never miss a delivery, specifically, an alcohol filled delivery? London start up company Garçon Wines have created slim, plastic wine bottles that fit through your letterbox, allowing for home delivery even when you’re not home. Made from heavy duty, glass like plastic, the bottles appear thinner and longer than a typically shaped wine bottle
As a student, you’ll know that one of the biggest bane of your life is the cost of printing. You pay a certain amount of tuition each year to attend university, in some countries more than others, and you’re still expected to pay money to print off the work for a university you’re paying to attend and eventually graduate from. It has been said that European countries have a higher quality of student life for the tuition fees they ask, compared to those say in the US or in the UK.
In Berlin, the latest way to make the life of a student even more convenient and frugal is a free printing service, a startup called ‘Print Peter’. Founded by three friends at university, it is a platform where students can upload their university material for free. ‘Print Peter’ prints the pages and binds them within 48 hours, all completely for free. With such a rising demand of dissertations, thesis’ and deadlines, the service has become of great value to the university students of Berlin and beyond. The offer is open to all students enrolled at a German university, and due to it’s success and popular demand, the company is now able to spread internationally, and wants to bring its services to Australia and Switzerland
It’s one of the hardest decisions we face on nearly a daily basis – what should I cook for dinner? Am I feeling lazy or productive? What do I feel like eating? What needs eating up in the fridge? It nearly always ends the same way – you’re faced with too many decisions, and up going for a standard pasta pesto. Its quick, tasty and requires little thought or effort. But what if there was a way to utilise your ingredients to their maximum efficiency? What if there was a space to provide inspiration for your evening meal, that gives you suggestions for additional ingredients, that makes cooking feel worthwhile again?
Parents across the world are constantly trying to figure out new ways to make their baby sleep easier and longer. It seems an emerging pattern would be that babies sleep soundly and without disturbance when on a long car journey – which adults might find too! The gentle vibrating and rocking of the car has been proven to soothe people into a gentle lull, but what if there was a way to recreate this sensation for babies when they’re not in a car?
If you live in German, Austria or Switzerland, you are probably familiar with the Dean&David restaurants. This is a company that started as the first salad bar in Munich back in 2007. Nowadays, it is the most successful healthy fast food franchise in Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Everything began in 2005, when its founder, David Baumgartner, went on a long trip around the world, being the USA, Australia and Asia the most remarkable places for what he was planning to do. What he found in those countries was a quick access to healthy food that was also available anywhere.
It was something that he could not find in Germany back then, so when he came back to Munich, he created Dean&David. At the beginning, he had little to no rest from work since he was the one cutting vegetables, the one cleaning the floor and tables, and the one in charge of financial niches and organizing working schedules.
Everywhere you look, restaurants, catering services and retail organisations appear to be doing their absolute best to 'hipster'-ize everything. From serving food in shoes or using a shovel as a plate, to pouring alcoholic beverages in test tubes or creating latte art - anything to let millennials capture that perfect Instagram worthy picture. The younger generation of 2017 appear to jump through hoops to get their hands on the latest unique product to give their life a little edge. When scrolling through the popular pages of every social media platform, you'll find an aerial view photograph of a beauty blogger hugging a cup of coffee alongside a bowl of fruit and oats, captioned #riseandshine #blessed. So what happens when you can up your game with the perfect, 21st century must have?
The selling power of the internet is enormous, especially if you know the browsing habits of your audience. According to KPCB.com, video content will make up 74% of online traffic this year. Almost half of all internet users search for product-related video content before checking out a store. These facts have not gone unnoticed. It’s what sparked the inspiration for Berlin-based startup, Generation Z.
Meet Frichti: Frichti is a French startup that offers and delivers healthy meals anywhere in Paris and some other nearby cities. So far, nothing exciting. But it is not just another delivery company in a busy city, they have an approach that is slightly different than that of competitors...
Favor is a Dutch fashion app created by Appisode One and developed by iOnline in 2016. What Nick Bruijn, Ian Haima and Stef Lindeman – the founders – had in mind when they were thinking about this app concept was simple, yet innovative: to create a way of sharing your personal style and make other users judge it.
What happens when you find the ideal recipe to fit your ingredients, time limit and cravings – but you have no idea where to start when it comes to breaking down the nutritional values, additives and potentially allergy hazards? What is delicious for some can become seriously dangerous for someone else. Peanuts, shellfish and soya contain one of the fourteen worst allergies, and one of the most frequent triggers for allergies and intolerances. This can become a huge headache for manufacturers, who must therefore specify exactly what is present in their products according to the European packaging laws.
Ever since the trend of startups has erupted, the life of a general human being has improved! Even though they are a bit tormenting for the planner and executors, they make life easier for the customers they are serving! One of such startups gaining momentum in Berlin is Green Guru’s. If you are someone who has decided to change your life and start living healthy, Green Guru is here for your help. We all know that taking the New Year’s resolution to live healthy is easy but actually implementing it is quite difficult. Now, who has the time and energy to sit and plan your meal and actually make all the healthy stuff? Also, a lot of people who have a full time job usually do not find spare time to make the healthy food items. Thus is when Green Guru comes to your assistance. It helps you in living a better life by providing you with the most delicious and well-made salads and smoothies!
German start up company Erdbär wanted to make fruit and vegetables tasty and appealing for children, and created a new product under the name of Freche Fruende (literally translated as ‘Naughty Friends). Not only do founders, married couple Alexaner and Natacha Neumann, want to get children to love their fruits and vegetables again, but they also want to make the buying of such products quick, convenient and immediate. Think Hello Fresh! combined with Graze, but purely for children. The Freche Freunde snacks are all made of fruit and vegetables, and all ingredients are 100% organic. Freche Freunde offer a choice of fun, colourful and easy snacks without any additives. They are ideal for taking out and about, and can be ordered on online supermarket websites.
Electronic shelf labels refer to systems used by retailers to sell their products in stores. Typically, the display modules are attached to the front edge of retail shelving, and display the pricing and additional information of the product, such as sell by dates and nutritional value for food products, or product information for electronics. The concept dates all the way back to 1991, when Scandinavian based tech company Pricer was founded in Sweden. The first ever Pricer ESL system was installed in a Cash & Carry store in 1995. The modules use electronic paper or liquid crystal paper to display this information. A communication network allows the price display to be automatically updated whenever a product price is changed, and it is this what makes ESL a strong solution for modern retail. In order to operate properly, the wireless communication must have a reasonable range, speed, battery life and reliability, which can be based on radio, infrared or even visible light communication.
Fashion enthusiasts all over the world have faced this dilemma at least once - you have been invited to a formal dinner, a charity ball, an awards ceremony or a lavish event that requires an equally lavish outfit. You want to wear a beautiful and luxurious dress, but the event is not quite important enough to invest your life savings into an outfit. Besides, just like a wedding dress, you’re likely to only wear this once, so why would you take out a second mortgage just so you can impress your colleagues for just one evening? This is where Drexcode comes to the rescue.
Drexcode is an online platform for luxury clothing hire, and has recently closed a second round of financing for a cool half a million euros. It was founded in May 2014 bt Frederica Storace and Valeria Cambrea, two business women with more than ten years marketing experience behind them. The process is very simple thanks to their easy to use website. In four simple steps, a designer dress will land on your doorstep for your chosen occasion. First you register, then you choose your look and have it delivered. You wear the dress, feel fabulous and have UPS pick it up again for return as quickly as the morning after the night before. With additional free stylist advice, a free second size and a free refund within 24 hours policy, it is the ideal website for those looking to add a bit of designer style to their lives but aren’t quite ready to make the financial commitment yet.
The process of Cavacave is a simple one - the seller creates an account where they can describe in detail the characteristics of their bottle of wine, such as age, price, traceability, domain and location. Any interested buyer pays for the bottle and receives the bottle in person or by delivery. ‘We have sold around 4,000 bottles with an average of €243.60 per transaction.’ Deubler confirms.
To step up it’s unique game, Cavacave also offers an online auction service which is dedicated to rare and exceptional wines and spirits. It can include over a hundred lots distributed over auction rooms, some lasting ten days. In the auction rooms you can find several different rare wines, such as bottles of Chateaux Sénéjac - Haut Médoc, dating from 1945.
Themed restaurants, shops and cafe’s - we can’t get enough of them. You have The Cereal Killer Cafe in East London, UK, founded back in 2014 and purely based around the concept of selling branded breakfast cereals, or Spaghetteria in Utrecht, which opened last year and sells only delicious fresh pasta with a different menu every day. Whether it’s cereal, pasta or something else specific to satisfy your tastebuds, it’s become obvious that places which target a specific type of food and drink has become a growing trend amongst in recent years.
The young entrepreneurs who took on this kind of market within the catering industry are German trio Max Wittrock, Hubertus Bessau and Philipp Kraiss, who together founded MyMuesli, a company that sells a variety of breakfast choices such as organic gummy bears, peeled hemp nuts, and, obviously, musli. The website and variety of stores also allows you to mix your own muesli and gives you the choice of over 80 different ingredients. They have since sold a third of the shares, and German tabloid Gruenderszene revealed that since starting the company nine years ago it now has over 650 employees in Paussau and Berlin, and 36 stores in ten European countries, such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In addition to the cereals, the founders have also introduced their Oh! Juice orange juice, Green Cup Coffee and organic tea called Tree of Tea.
Recommerce is, simply put, the recycling method of the Internet and modern technology age. It works by offering a guaranteed repurchase price to the holder of the product, or by organising the logistical return of the product. In 2016 you can pretty much recommerce anything if it fits the guidelines, with companies offering products from jeans, corks, eyeglasses and watches, or cultural goods, to books, CDs and DVDs. It is an access to second hand luxuries, like smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs and cameras. An excellent example of recommerce in 2016 is the company Envirofone, who buy second hand or even damaged phones and recycle them safely and in an environmentally friendly manner.
Never thought drinking booze lead to more smartness? Well it could. The bad news: the benefits are for the Pernod-Ricard Group, not for you. Pernod has recently equipped 45,000 of its Malibu bottles with a NFC chip. The test will run in until december 2016 in 1,600 Tesco supermarkets in the UK.
How does it work?
Consumers ‘touching' a bottle with an NFC-enabled smartphone, get acces to Malibu branded content. Pernod-Ricard claims that this is the largest global deployment ever of NFC on an alcoholic product.
Saving money at a bank hasn’t been that popular among consumers. Apart from the fact that many alternatives for saving money have become available, yields on savings at the local bank don’t seem appealing to consumers anymore.
It could very well be that a foreign bank offers a savings account with a better interest rate. Most banks limit the availability of savings accounts to inhabitants of that country. Even within the European single market -that seeks to guarantee the free movement of people, goods, services and capital- it often proves difficult to open a foreign savings account.
Early taste is a dedicated German breakfast delivery service. The company was founded in 2015 by Dominik Senk and Steffen Oldenburg (both 29).
Prices for a one person breakfast that can be ordered from their website range from 10- 14 euro per person.
Gruenderszene recently tested the service. Results: There is not a lot to choose from. The food is good and certainly worth waiting for (more than one hour). The prices are rather high compared to what you get for it.
Rocket internet is never sitting still. Among the recent activities of the Germany based incubator, has been the founding of Bandist, an online market place for Musical instruments.
Selling musical instruments solely online, has already proven itself as a valid business model by for example Siccas Guitars (Karlsruhe, Germany). Bandist will however offer its services as a market place: Music shops and private sellers are enabled to open a shop on Bandist and benefit the market place promoting and selling features. According to the Bandist - FAQ, advertising on Bandist will be free of charge. A 5% fee will be imposed on transactions however.
Leading Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn recently started a test offering one-hour deliveries. Offering this service seems a logical step for the supermarket, enabling them to meet new consumer shopping preferences while at the same time making use if the existing network of supermarkets. How do consumers feel about this service and will they use it?
According to founder Remco Bron, Amsterdam based Inbeacon is planning to create the largest beacon network in the Netherlands. They partner up with Exterion Media in order to do so.
By incorporating the beacons in busstops, Exterion wants to gather all kinds of data of users that interact with advertisments with their smartphone. After a succesfull initial test last year together with publisher TMG involving 350 beacons in 3 dutch cities, the aim is to grow to 6000 so-called touch points.
Are you struggling to sleep and willing to fight it with the help of tech? Then Dreem headband from a company called Rhythm (Paris,FR) might be something for you!
Most connected devices for improving sleep quality, merely analyze and provide statistics based on which the user is supposed to undertake action. The Dreem however wants to take it a step further and actively engage with the struggling sleeper.
Fresh food meal kit delivery services (also known as ’meal kit companies’ or ‘food boxes’) have become a multi-hundred-million euro business in Europe. Berlin based HelloFresh, founded in 2011, grew out to be market leader in mainland Europe and has expanded services to the US and Australia already selling fifty million meals on a yearly basis. The company was valued at 2,6 billion euro in 2015 and is planning an IPO in the near future.
Fresh food meal kit market report
The concept and it’s explosive growth have been much debated over the last year. Little is known about how consumers value these meal kits. In order to better understand the consumer part of the story we studied the meal kit market in the Netherlands, one of the most mature markets for meal kits. We focussed on how consumers experience and value meal kits.
How do consumers value meal kits?
For our report, behavioral research company Veylinx performed a consumer valuation research, among 1,084 Dutch consumers. They tested what people are really willing to pay for meal kits. By comparing the results for different meal kits, we were able to understand consumers’ perceived value and how it relates to their characteristics, purchase history and brand awareness.
Amsterdam/The Netherlands: There is something intricately interesting and exciting about cocktails that people everywhere love. Some cocktail recipes are international, and they have traveled the world to be enriched by local flavors and evolve into new versions. A bartender’s skill, and even more, a venue’s reputation are strongly linked to how many cocktails are available on the menu, and, more often, their uniqueness and flavor.
Salamanca, Spain: “One size fits all” no longer satisfies customers who are looking for something closer to their needs and preferences. A trend called customization was born from this shift in the market, and now, a small startup from Salamanca, Spain, joins the club with a new initiative: customizing shoes in style, shape and size, so customers will never regret ordering their footwear online.
The shoes customized by BriteShoes use a 3D configurator to create the design the customer wants. From dangerously high heels to wacky ornaments and fancy colors, everything can be decided by the customer. The ultimate goal is to obtain a pair of unique, personalized shoes that the buyer will not see worn by someone else on the street.