A Czech company fused the joy of online shopping together with the traditional model: they have a store, but at the same time, they don’t. The strategy seems to be working in Slovakia and Romania as well, and the company’s revenue has grown 720% in three years. The company is about to open a new “store” in several other countries, and Hungary is one of them, hvg.hu writes.

There are those internet stores that offer several brands cheaper than traditional stores, but the customer cannot try the clothes on in advance. And there are those stores that have physical locations but sell the same piece of clothing at a higher price. What can the customer do? Try it on in a traditional store, and then try to find it cheaper on the internet. But most people are too tempted, and buy everything on the spot.

Founders of the Czech company Zoot found the perfect method to fuse the two options together: their website, which sells clothes from more than 300 brands, offers the chance to order everything cheaper. The customer chooses the desired clothes in several sizes, and the store sends it to a “store like” store for the customer to try everything on. If unsatisfied with the purchase, everything can be sent back for 90 days without any additional costs.

Maintaining a shop like this costs 10 times less than a traditional store, Sara Risticova, Zoot’s investment director said. In that way customers can buy everything cheaper, but can still try the clothes on.

Zoot was founded in 2010 in Prague, and it’s only been a couple of years since the company adopted this new model. Since then they have already opened stores in Slovakia in 2014, and 3TS Capital Partners invested €5.5 million in the company to open international stores (the same investor helped the Hungarian startup LogMeIn, and was a joint owner for a while).

Risticova said, during a forum, that the company is planning to open stores in several other countries, such as Hungary, in the near future, but hasn’t specified a date yet. However, the company’s next investment is going to be around 250-280 million Czech koruna (approximately 3-3,2 billion HUF).

The model is working well in the Czech Republic: the company had 200 000 customers last year who spent 500 million koruna (approximately 5.7 billion HUF) “in the shop”. Around 80,000 people visit the website on daily basis, the company has 200 employees, and they expect to have a 30 million koruna (approximately 344 million HUF) profit this year. Their goal is to have a €10 million (approximately 3,1 billion HUF) profit in the Romanian store in the first business year – and they only have 8 employees. The company is likely to have the same plans for Hungary.

Copy editor: bm

Source: hvg.hu

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