Gekås Ullared is one of the most fascinating business models in the retail space. The company has a single store, and it has over $600 million in revenues every year, which just keeps on growing. Selling everything from clothes to food, and toys. It is one of the most remarkable businesses in the retail space in Sweden.
Customers are completely obsessed with Gekås, and visiting the store often means staying in the small village of Ullared for a few days.
Oftentimes investors wonder what private company they would be interested in if there was ever an IPO, Gekås should be on every investor’s list.
Gekås Ullared numbers
Gekås Ullared is located in the small village of Ullared with just 780 inhabitants. However the large retail space and distribution center make up most of the town’s area. There is a good reason for it. Every year millions of Swedes visit Ullared just to shop at Gekås. Just in 2019, the store was visited by 4.9 million people, or roughly 47% of the Swedish population. On average the store is visited every day by over 13,400 customers, looking to shop and find the best bargains available.
On July 30th the store broke its visitor record, receiving 29,200 visitors in a single day. There are several bus routes specifically for customers, who want to visit Ullared. On some days there are over 120 buses going to and from Ullared.
In fact, so many people visit the store, that it has the largest parking lot in all of Sweden. In November of 2019, the company had a record-breaking month booking $78M in sales.
Revamped business model
Gekås was always known for its affordable products, which tend to be 10% lower than other stores in Sweden. But over the years the company has adapted its business model to offer more than just bargain prices.
With an extreme focus on customer satisfaction, the store was redesigned to improve the consumer experience. Shopping at Gekås is more than just shopping at any other store.
The company tries to offer its customers the best experience possible by combining different activities with shopping. If you go to Gekås Ullared you might find yourself eating at one of their 4 restaurants, or playing mini-golf, swimming, or even skiing. There are also unique events that are constantly being added in order to make their customers happy.
What you can do at Gekås Ullared:
- Hair salon
- Play center for kids
- Adventure Park
There is a whole hospitality industry catering to visitors that want to stay in the small village of Ullared and shop for a few days.
Gekås Ullared numbers
Every year over 133 million products pass through the company’s store and distribution center. But the numbers are even more impressive. In some product categories, Gekås Ullared completely dominates the competition and holds the largest market share in the country with just a single store.
Every year it sells:
- 1.2 million pairs of trousers and jeans.
- 13 million pairs of socks.
- 1.7 million bottles of shampoo
- 5.9 million toys
The gigantic size of Gekås Ullared distribution center, and its store location overshadows the size of the small village with 780 inhabitants. In fact, its parking lot is the largest parking lot in Sweden.
Why Gekås Ullared business is so impressive
When we compare the average revenue per square foot of Gekås Ullared and some of the largest retailers in the world, we can see how impressive this business model really is. Gekås Ullared store has 430,500 square foot. It generates an average revenue per square foot that is comparable to some of the largest retailers in the world. It is also impressive that it can do it with just a single location in a very small village.
IPO or private equity deal on the horizon?
Given how strong the brand has resonated with consumers, and how Gekås Ullared has been able to create a completely unique shopping experience it would be a very interesting opportunity if the company ever went public.
On the other hand, there are certainly private equity firms looking at their business, and it would certainly be a great addition to their portfolio.
Gekås Ullared has been able to create one of the most impressive businesses in the world. The company’s competitive advantages are unparalleled. Never before have we analyzed a retail business wherein customers are willing to travel for miles and miles, and even book accommodation just to shop at a particular store. It just shows you how powerful the experience Gekås Ullared was able to create, and customers continue to shop there.
There are some retail businesses that design isles and stores meant to keep shoppers inside unwillingly. Gekås Ullared on the other has shoppers coming from all over Sweden to willingly be trapped inside the store, and shop for days.