The ability to look at a crowded market and see an opportunity is often all that separates success and failure. It’s instinctual — an aptitude that sets certain companies apart and, more often than not, defines who leads their respective industries. Elkjøp, owners of Epoq kitchens, are one such company.
Founded in Norway in 1962 when 33 small retailers decided to cooperate — reaping the benefits of buying more products for better prices from their suppliers. It was the birth of a powerhouse in consumer electronics and home appliances — becoming the market leader and operating more than 400 stores across the Nordic countries.
In 2007 they saw an opportunity in a new market — that’s when Epoq kitchens was born.
“Our mission with Epoq is to be the market leader in the Nordics,” says Bjørn-Erik Finstad, project manager for kitchen and interiors at Elkjøp Nordic. “We’re confident we can achieve that goal by delivering quality kitchens, at an affordable price, and with the design and functionality that consumers desire.”
It was on the topic of functionality that Epoq sensed a unique opportunity, and when Välinge’s Director of Furniture Locking, Hans Brännström, got in contact to talk about a brand new technology called Threespine® that things really started to click.
“Hans contacted a colleague of mine, Stefan Stenudd, when Threespine® was completely new and the team investigated the possibility of applying this to kitchens,“ says Bjørn-Erik Finstad. “Together with Välinge, we developed the first products that were industrially manufactured in through-feed machines using this technology.”
The cooperative and collaborative vision of Epoq together with Välinge’s long history of innovation and impeccable support for its licensees drove the project forward and created a strong bond between the companies that remains to this day. The results, too, have been impressive.
“Right from the beginning, we’ve had a great relationship with Välinge. They are very solution-oriented and make sure everything runs smooth,” says Bjørn-Erik. “Since we launched our Threespine® products, the growth has been impeccably good — as many as 40% are now sold using the easy-installation click technology and we expect that to rise to 60–70% in the next few years.”
The reason for the success and ambitious projected growth is simple, the response from both consumers and retail staff have been unanimous — Epoq kitchens with Threespine® make home assembly a breeze and results in a sturdy finished product.
“Our customers love that it is so easy to assemble the cabinets, and at the same time, they think the cabinets seem more solid. Feedback from our sales staff is very good too — they find it easier to sell click cabinets to customers who are planning to install the kitchens themselves,” says Bjørn-Erik. “We are in a great position — we’re growing substantially each year. We see a huge opportunity to take market shares in each country during the next 5 years — and we are also looking into new possibilities together with Välinge.”