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The Humble Beginnings of Empik in Poland


jasondmzk
20 Feb 2013 #1
I love Empik. I can't help it. I love any store that makes you climb stairs in order to explore all that it offers. Anyway, here's some shots of Empik in leaner times, when it was little more than a targ.

The 60's!

books

Look, the 70's brought with it the majesty of shelves!

Even more books in Poland!
cms 9 | 1,255
21 Feb 2013 #2
Hard times for them at the moment - huge debts and falling sales. As well as the empik stores they also run a lot of clothing stores which have been dragging them down at the same time that Allegro became popular. They now have some new owners from Czech.

I hope they survive because they were one of the first stores in Poland to develop proper customer service in the 90s and be like a normal shop where you didnt have to go to loads of different counters.
OP jasondmzk
21 Feb 2013 #3
I think they're having a difficult time figuring out what exactly they want to be. They have gone from a fully book and periodical based supplier to include being a music store, cafe, and novelty shop.
AmerTchr 4 | 201
21 Feb 2013 #4
As well as the largest, wholly-owned chain of language schools. Over-aggressive acquisition and expansion seems to have given them a lot to chew and swallow in the last 5-6 years.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,379
21 Feb 2013 #5
in the days when people actually bought cd's Empik was the first stop, but only to check the product. folks would usually go and buy somewhere else/cheaper.

they also have a problem with customers who think the shop is a library. i for one won't buy a well thumbed book/mag as new.

the shop's friendly policy is one of the things that is working against it. and there are plenty of cheaper shops.
OP jasondmzk
21 Feb 2013 #6
I like the two that are inside shopping centers, like the one by Tesco in Bielany. The one in the rynek is always packed and the security guards are always standing exactly where I want to look.
p3undone 8 | 1,132
21 Feb 2013 #7
Jasondmzk,what American store would you equate Empik to.
OP jasondmzk
21 Feb 2013 #8
The closest thing would be Barnes & Noble, I suppose.
p3undone 8 | 1,132
21 Feb 2013 #9
Jasondmxk,LOL,I should have paid closer attention to the pics.Thanks
jon357 74 | 21,900
22 Feb 2013 #10
they also have a problem with customers who think the shop is a library

Historically it had a lot in common with a library.

Unfortunately for them the Internet is killing places like this all around the world.
Maybe 12 | 409
22 Feb 2013 #11
If you look at what has happened in the UK. at HMV (dvd,cd store) & Waterstones (bookstore), both retailers are having issues because they haven't been able to beat off internet rivals, this coupled with e-books and music moving from hard to soft format.

More and more Polish people are shopping online, it is a major growth area within the Polish economy. So unless Empik is able to keep successfully reinventing itself it shall face the same issues that HMV and Waterstone's are facing in the UK.
AmerTchr 4 | 201
22 Feb 2013 #12
This will affect business in as fundamental fashion as the transition from peonage to free-holdings in agriculture and merchant fleets venturing over the horizon in search of markets.

Losing that sense of aggressiveness and entrepreneurial outlook is one of the major factors which kill businesses.
jwojcie 2 | 762
28 Feb 2013 #13
Frankly speaking whenever I can I buy elsewhere. Those kind of mega books shops are kiling all kind of small and nice ones.
Besides, the prices for a small things there are ridiculous.
sobieski 106 | 2,118
28 Feb 2013 #14
Here in Warsaw I hugely preferred Traffic. But it now seems they are getting kicked out from their premises by some greedy pre-owner.


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