ANNUAL REPORT 2014 BLOKKER HOLDING
  NL | EN | FR

XENOS

FORMAT
Xenos is a retail chain with stores in the Netherlands and Germany specialising in the sale of home, household and gift items. The product range includes international products, as well as home decoration accessories and practical household items.

Sales at the Dutch stores fell slightly during the year under review. The situation is rather different in the German market, where sales increased by 20% and a total of 12 new stores were opened. In the year under review, the retailer invested in upgrading the look and feel of the Xenos format. At the same time, the company also made preparations for the launch of the xenos.nl webshop, which went live on 30 March 2015. The upgraded and expanded distribution centre in Waalwijk is also completed in 2014. 
 
CLOSE TO THE CUSTOMER WITH CONTEMPORARY FORMATS
Xenos specialises in the sale of original, international and special food and non-food items with a cheerful and positive style and at competitive prices. The chain began converting 20 stores in 2014 in order to achieve a more contemporary look and design. The unique, cosmopolitan atmosphere of Xenos has been further implemented in the stores and promotional leaflets. This will inspire customers more and provide them a unique experience, while the focus is kept firmly on attractive Xenos offers. Popular items from the Xenos range of products in the Netherlands include Christmas decoration products and accessories and gift items. 

A reward programme was launched in 2014 related to the popular Paul Frank line of products, where customers could redeem points to win ‘danglers’ in different colours. In addition, a photo competition was held on social media featuring selfies made by customers based on the Paul Frank theme. This competition introduced the Xenos product range to younger consumers in a completely contemporary way. 

GROWTH IN GERMANY
Xenos focused on further growth in Germany, where it opened a total of 12 new stores. The market for home decoration and accessories and gift items is not as developed in this market, which is adding to Xenos’ popularity as a highly original and unique format. The marketing and sales activities of Xenos Germany are, by and large, the same as those in the Netherlands.
 
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE 
In order to further improve delivery and service to consumers and achieve revenue growth this year, the distribution centre in Waalwijk was upgraded and expanded. For example, a second high-bay stocking system was constructed and a new dynamic order picking system was introduced. Xenos expects the new distribution centre to become fully operational in the summer of 2015. In addition, the existing distri­bution centre currently has a dedicated department for the delivery of online orders. This department became operational in early 2015. The substantial investments in the distribution centre made in 2014 are needed in order to accommodate the German growth. The German Xenos stores are stocked from the Waalwijk distribution centre. 

OPEN AND COMMITTED TEAMS
Recent shifts in retail require that all Xenos employees make the necessary changes: different procedures, further professionalisation and a more service-oriented customer approach. Xenos values its internal training courses: all retail employees take several or all modules of the Basis Opleiding Xenos (BOX) basic training course after starting employment, which is offered online. In order to further improve the quality of the organisation, a group-wide evaluation system was launched at Xenos. The retailer also conducted an Employee Engagement Survey in 2014. 

OUTLOOK AND ACTIVITIES 2015
Xenos’ priorities in the Netherlands are improving retail sales and bringing the product range more in line with the new Xenos format. Xenos expects the new format to boost sales in 2015. The webshop xenos.nl, launched in conjunction with Nextail in March 2015, will also contribute to boosting sales. Xenos also anticipates further expansion and sales growth in Germany.

 

New distribution centre in Waalwijk.

Xenos store in Stuttgart, Germany.

The popular Paul Frank promotion also generated plenty of buzz on social media.

Leaflets designed in the all-new Xenos style: original, cosmopolitan and competitively priced.

In 2014, Xenos prepared for the launch of its xenos.nl webshop, which went live on 30 March 2015.