Swedish online bookstore Adlibris slowly evolves into department store
Swedish online retailer Adlibris no longer just sells books via its website, as it launched an extended range of completely new categories, both on its Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish websites. The expansion was announced earlier this year, but as of today consumers now also can shop at Adlibris for DIY & crafts items, kids & toys products and office supplies.
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Ehandel.se wrote in March of this year how Adlibris was slowly turning away from selling just books. In 2013 the Swedish online retailer showed a decline in sales for the first time since its inception in 1997. Adlibris merged with the acquired Discshop and also bought online toy store Bamba.se.
Soon, Henrik Oscarsson, COO of Adlibris Group, told the press how sales have shown a turnaround and that the company is looking to expand its offering. The idea is that Adlibris sells a new range of products around its core: books. “For example, when buying a coloring book, you should also be able to find pencils and paint in the same store”, Linnea Wiklund from Adlibris explained.
Products to create, play and get involved
Now, the new product categories are added to the Adlibris website and Ehandel.se says soon other product categories such as kitchen and decorations will follow.”With the new product range, we want to expand our offering t out customers and be a welcoming, inspiring website where consumers can easily, and at a good price, buy all the products they need to create, play and get involved”, Oscarsson says.
The new product categories will be launched simultaneously in Sweden, Norway and Finland. One of the main reasons for this new approach is the growing interest in non-fiction products like cookbooks, interior design books and craft books. “It appears more and more do-it-yourself books ranked high in our top lists, and we’ve seen there is a strong movement to be creative and decorate the house. By starting from the books we sell and then build a product range based on them, we want to create a unique shopping experience where customers can find everything they need for a more creative and colorful everyday life”, Oscarsson explains.
Turning from a bookstore into a department store
Adlibris’s transformation into a ‘more than just books’ store if of course not unique. Online retail giant Amazon started just the same way. In Europe there are examples of this development as well. In the Netherlands, Bol.com started as an online store selling books, but slowly it evolved into a very huge department store selling all kinds of products: records, DVDs, games, software, toys, health & beauty products, consumer electronics, office supplies, jewelry & watches, et cetera.
Adlibris was founded in 1997 by Pär Svärdson, Fabian Fischer, Johan Arvidsson and Christian Lauritzen. It’s headquartered in Stockholm, while its distribution center is in Morgongåva, an urban area in the province of Uppland. About 160 people work for Adlibris, of which 85 work at the distribution center. Adlibris also sells its own e-reader (Letto) and offers customers a subscription service for audio books and ebooks (Adlibris Mondo).