Danish retailer Tiger is investing in community-focused initiatives to reinvigorate the sense of social cohesion in urban areas.

Danish retailer Tiger is investing in a series of community-focused initiatives that aim to reinvigorate the sense of social cohesion in urban areas. A hugely successful discount retailer offering impulse products like fake moustaches and packs of salt licorice, Tiger is proving that consumers want brands with a purpose.

In his latest social and entrepreneurial quest, Tiger founder Lennart Lajboschitz is redeveloping the Absalons Kirke Christian church in Copenhagen into a vibrant community center inspiring serendipitous social gatherings. Describing himself as “not a retailer [but] an anthropologist,” he aims to establish “a space where thoughts and values can be transformed into actions.” He’s invested 10.25 million kroner (around $1.5 million) in the church building, after the Diocese of Copenhagen had closed 14 churches in response to declines in attendance.

credit Mads Nissen
Mads Nissen

This initiative follows Tiger’s brand extension into hospitality, with the opening of three cafés in Genoa, Copenaghen and Kyoto in 2014. Named “Spilbars,” these cafés serve coffee and beer, and encourage strangers to connect by playing chess, table tennis, or one of the many board games sold at Tiger stores. Workshops and events also take place regularly, including chain dances and live concerts. Lajboschitz’s latest moves seem to be a clear statement to respond to customers’ desire to Buy the Experience, as described in our 10 Years of 10 Trends report.

With stores reinventing themselves as meeting destinations and serendipity machines in order to survive in the era of Retail as The Third Space, Tiger keeps the needs of the local community at the heart of its brand extension plans. Its 44% revenue growth in 2014 shows that social responsibility campaigns satisfy a growing consumer thirst for emotionally meaningful brands, and can go hand-in-hand with profitability.

Image source: City Avisen