The Discount Industry Is Getting A New Player: Flying Tiger
Imagine a store that has the same types of products and atmosphere as a Target, organized like an Ikea, but has roughly the prices of a Dollar Store. Sound too good to be true? Tiger doesn’t think so. The Danish company currently operates stores that are exactly that. There are currently 441 stores in 26 countries, but none are in the US, yet. Thankfully, the company has finally decided to break into the American market by opening a US flagship store called Flying Tiger in midtown Manhattan (Broadway and 21st Street) on May 16. If executed properly, it has the potential to bring some serious new competition to the discount industry.
I had the pleasure of shopping at several Tigers while living in Milan, Italy. It quickly became one of my favorite stores and is one of the first places I shop at when visiting. In a city that lives and breathes high fashion, the low cost Tiger stores were always crowded and a customer favorite. According to Racked, 90% of the products cost below $15, many under $10. The stores are relatively small (5,000 sq-ft) and are set up like a maze. Upon entering, customers weave through the aisles where each type of product has its own section; at the end of the maze customers can either pay or go through again. (I usually went through twice just in case I missed anything.) The reason this works is because the store is small and customers can weave through as quick or slow as they please.
Besides the store layout, the products in the store are of good quality, stylish, and fun. All of the products are “own-branded, simple and colorful with a Scandinavian touch.” (Similar to Ikea.) To keep up with demand and remain competitive, the company plans on changing the products in stores every six to eight weeks. These products include school supplies, cooking utensils, art supplies, beauty products, home essentials, Christmas ornaments, candy and food, etc; basically most of the products in a dollar store. The fundamental difference I noticed between a Tiger and a Family Dollar was the set-up of the store. The Tiger stores I visited (3-4), were remarkably clean and had a white motif with bright lighting. All of the shelves were relatively low, no higher than my stomach. This made it easy to maneuver through the small store, but not feel crowded. It also made it extremely easy to find things, because I could see most products from anywhere I stood.
Personally, I couldn’t be more excited that Tiger is breaking into the US market. It has the potential to quickly become an American staple and disrupt the discount industry by quickly gaining market share. While the company hasn’t opened its first location yet, it is already scouting more locations throughout New York City.