Gothenburg is thriving. Away from its capital Stockholm, Sweden’s second city enjoys a reputation for enterprising independent retail. Thanks to the country’s healthy welfare system, start-ups here can afford to take more risks, pioneer new ideas and try original ways to sell product. Homegrown brands dominate as a result. Highly individual, often quirky and sometimes playful, they provide a strong point of difference to the cookie-cutter shopping malls we often see in other major cities around the world. Here are just some of Gothenburg’s many independent retailers that help set this great city apart.
Kyrkogatan 19, 411 15 Göteborg, Sweden
Run by sisters Charlotta and Kajsa Söderberg Heyday is a concept store for lifestyle products. As with all good lifestyle stores it features an Instagram worthy coffee bar with a lively atmosphere that encourages customers to stop in and hang out. It has a definite customer profile in mind and with a bubble-gum pink floor and pastel blue interior, it targets them perfectly with a fresh twist and a pop of colour for those who wish to add some love style to their lives.
Its products – largely female focused – and visual identity work together seamlessly to create a quirky space that champions innovative products from local creators. This isn’t a place for the easily offended; its gritty realism mixed with a sense of humour and products that are deliberately provocative. But as a retail store it’s skilfully presented and perfectly encapsulates a current ‘mood’ for feisty millennial women.
Östra Hamngatan 29, 411 10 Göteborg, Sweden
Nividas means ‘we see’ in Esperanto, a language created to break down boundaries across countries and cultures. This is the same ethos behind this Stockholm-based company offering a collection of unisex and affordable eyewear.
Founded in 2014, the brand is part of a new wave of opticians that prioritise style as much as function. This isn’t a clinical, cold place that we’ve come to expect from this sector – quite the opposite. The soft pastel shades of peach, pink and blue, mixed with neon strip lighting and tropical plants, give the interior a Miami Beach art deco feel. Light terrazzo and pale woods have been integrated to add an even warmer look. Small shelves and curved mirrors create interest on store fixtures and in feature walls. Product placement is simple. POS is clear. And easy segmentation making the eyewear easy to try on and shop. It really is one to go and see.
Västra Hamngatan 18, 411 17 Göteborg, Sweden
Engelska Tapetmagasinet is Sweden’s largest online wallpaper store, as well as being one of its oldest – their physical store in Gothenburg dates back to 1899. It may be an example of true Swedish heritage, but its name actually means English Wallpaper Magazine (not to be confused with that other beacon of good taste for all things home, Wallpaper Magazine).
Today, they sell much more than just wallpaper, creating an interior design destination full of fabrics, cushions, paintings and furnishing details for the home. The brand may sell its products online these days but in its store the links with the past have firmly been retained – original mahogany panelling and period features reinforce the brand’s heritage. This store is anything but a contrived vision of brand values. Displaying grandeur while not appearing grandiose, the space is truly reflective of the product range. Or, perhaps it’s the other way around. Craftsmanship, quality and knowledge that you can trust. Proof that sometimes, the ‘next and the new’ does not always win out over age and experience.