Blue Tomato opens first store in Sweden
The new Gothenburg store is Blue Tomato’s first in Sweden. In recent years, the company has expanded quickly and currently operates around 70 shops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Finland. It employs around 750 people.
Helen Bairu is the investment advisor for retail at Business Region Göteborg. She first met representatives from Blue Tomato at MAPIC, a large retail trade fair held in Cannes, in 2019.
“They had decided to expand in the Nordics and wanted our assistance. But then came the pandemic and plans were put on ice. During the winter, however, we resumed contact,” says Helen Bairu.
Helen helped the company to understand the market in Gothenburg, the demographics and how trade is developing. This then led to a visit to the city in March of this year. Helen had also found a potential premise on Vallgatan in the city centre, in a property owned by real estate company Bygg-Göta.
“Vallgatan is a boutique-street with design and fashion stores and cafes. A real shopping street. Here we want to have the right cluster of stores. We want it to be an experience for customers to walk on this street. So, we are rather selective in terms of the stores we take in,” says Linda Neidert, vice CEO and rental manager at Bygg-Göta.
In this case, both the match and the timing were right. Both parties were able to come to a decision quickly.
According to Philippa Andersson, manager of the new store, Blue Tomato fits perfectly into the atmosphere in Gothenburg with its down-to-earth, positive and open-minded people. She believes that the city is in line with Blue Tomato’s values and is a good starting point for the company’s journey in Sweden.
“I have lived in Berlin for the past seven years and it has been a dream to move back to my home city and bring Blue Tomato with me,” says Philippa Andersson, who has worked at the company for four years.
On 11 August, Blue Tomato opened the doors to its 260 sqm store located at Vallgatan 34, in the heart of the city. Helen Bairu was on hand for the official opening.
“It’s always rewarding to contribute to additional employment opportunities in Gothenburg, and really fun with new brands. Consumers in Gothenburg want to see new brands. And a company like Blue Tomato hires young people, so I think this will turn out well,” says Helen Bairu.