FLEXA, manufacturer of children’s furniture in Danish design, is in early April relocating from Hornsyld to the iconic building of Bispegården in central Aarhus. The relocation is a natural step in a strategy to get truly close to consumers. Colliers headed the letting effort and also facilitated the sale of the property in 2019, when Aarhus-based property company Emilienborg acquired it.
Already ten years ago, FLEXA outsourced all production from Denmark to Estonia. Now the time has come to relocate 32 (of 70) employees from Hornsyld to Aarhus, leaving behind storage and distribution facilities, along with a prototyping workshop.
The new lease premises comprise approx 1,100 sq m. On the first floor, you will find marketing alongside FLEXA HOUSE, a brand-new retail concept. This will be a completely new kind of shopping experience; customers will not feel that they are entering a shop but rather a flat with several different rooms where various concepts will unfold in a homely setting. The customers may so to speak experience furniture in a natural environment as opposed to a classically arranged display.
“The decision to move to Aarhus was originally formed as a natural next step in the company’s transformation from manufacturer to designer/retailer. It’s important for us to get really close to domestic consumers to get a first-hand impression of how they respond to new designs and initiatives before we launch them worldwide”, explains Carsten Dan Madsen, CEO of FLEXA, and continues,
“Today, we have 140 FLEXA franchise shops globally, but we have missed a venue here in Denmark where we can be the first to test new initiatives. Danish revenue accounts for a very small share of total revenues, but Danish design is our successful hallmark abroad; we have positioned the company as a Danish design company and Denmark will therefore always be an important test market”.
It is no coincidence that central Aarhus was chosen.
“We are gradually shifting to a more digital platform. Online sales, both through our suppliers and on our own account, will become a much more dominant phenomenon in the years ahead, requiring employees with different skills. It has been difficult for us to attract young talent to Hornsyld, and we therefore purposely targeted a location with easy access to public transport but also offering parking spaces for employees and customers alike”, says Carsten Dan Madsen.
Having been in the market for a suitable property for a couple of years, FLEXA had no doubts when they first laid eyes on Bispegården. Benedichte Bruun, commercial real estate advisor with Colliers, understands why.
“Bispegården enjoys a highly central location in Aarhus and is a truly unique property with a special charm that is hard to come by in a lot of other places in the city. We barely started marketing the property before we were flooded by prospective tenants”, says Benedichte Bruun, adding that it is still possible to rent adjoining side and rear buildings.