Sustainability and Affordability for All: HEMA Enters MexicoBy Cas Biekmann | Wed, 02/12/2020 - 16:45
Dutch variety store HEMA is practically part of the furniture in its native country. With close to 100 years in business, it has already expanded into 11 different foreign markets, taking with it smartly designed, high-quality products manufactured HEMA itself. Now, the company from Amsterdam is looking to expand further and is betting on Mexico as its next destination. Its first stores in the country are scheduled to open before the end of 2020.
HEMA began in 1926. Originally a dime store, its founders sought to "democratize better living". By keeping control of its entire production process, from the design and manufacture all the way to selling, the company was able to provide quality while keeping prices affordable. These values are still represented in the company’s business practices today. Tjeerd Jegen, global CEO, explains that HEMA creates "optimistic" designs rooted in Dutch traditions that were championed by artists such as Mondriaan and Rietveld. Furthermore, a strong focus on sustainability and environmental awareness make HEMA stand out from the competition.
For Tjeerd Jegen, the company’s draw to the Mexican market is easy to explain. He stresses that HEMA is here for the long term: "We see potential because we believe there is an opportunity to bring a unique offering to the market […] A large amount of the population in Mexico lives in cities, and we really do well with a city-based population. Furthermore, it is a significant market for growth. We believe very much in this country,” he says.
The target group will consist of younger Mexicans between the ages of 25 and 36. HEMA expects that its eco-awareness and wide availability, having both an online and offline presence, will prove a winning hand with its intended audience. The stores will carry the brand’s international range with products such as baby and children items, household articles, make-up, office supplies, foodstuffs and clothing. Tjeerd Jegen also expects that there are certain gaps in the market HEMA can fill: "We see a young population. When we think about our offering for kids and babies, we can really support families," he says.
HEMA is ambitious, planning to open 200 stores in the country over the next five years and focusing on Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Some 3,000 jobs will be created to service the 30,000 clients expected each month. The company’s commitment to Mexico has been influenced by strategic partnerships: "We are not investing ourselves. We have a great partner that is investing. When we found this partner, we knew Mexico would be the country for us. It is a combination of finding great partners that really understand the marketplace and building a great brand in conjunction with the great opportunity we see in this country,” Jegen says. Working with local partners Grupo Ensueño and Grupo Modatelas as well as an undisclosed Mexican investor, the number of stores HEMA plans to open in Mexico is double its amount in any other foreign market. That is to say, one out of four of HEMA’s stores worldwide will be in Mexico.
Ambitions are set at a very high level. With a clear vision, strategy and set of values, the Dutch multinational aims to achieve its goals.