If there’s one thing we crave more than convenience, it’s connection.
No matter how much we love to shop online, there’s something about physical retail that ecommerce just can’t replace.
When you walk into a store, you’re stepping into a brand’s universe. One that’s been carefully catered from the wall’s paint color to the teller’s sales pitch.
Physical retail stores are a gateway for new customers, a possibility for brands to tailor the experience they want to offer potential and returning clients.
That’s why Ria continues to grow its network of personal stores across the globe.
Today, however, we’ll be focusing on our Euopean expansion, which includes countries such as Germany, Italy, England and Norway.
Thanks to our diligent team and a pinch of good luck, we’ve managed to open our stores in Germany in record time.
Major cities Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin all saw new store openings this year.
In February, our Checkpoint Charlie store opened its doors to the many tourists that visit the old guardhouse used to keep East German citizens from escaping to the democratic West.
In Frankfurt, we’ve opened a store at the Central Station and have moved into the oldest change house in Europe. The House of the Great Angel (Das Haus Großer Engel) is located in Römerberg, the city’s historic square, and has served as a change house since 1458.
We also opened a store this September in Marienplatz, right in the heart of Munich. This high-foot traffic store is equipped with three tills. Marienplatz also hosts Christkindlmarkt, one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany.
Located in one of the most touristic areas in Rome, Ria Ottaviano can be found right next to the St. Peter’s Square metro station. Our store is visited daily by tourists heading to the Vatican City as well as locals who shop at Viale Giulio Cesare.
For next year, we look forward to opening stores within several train stations across the country.
When it comes to the Nordics, thanks to a market that is ripe for innovation, we can get creative with our stores.
Recently, we opened our first one-stop-shop in Copenhagen, a concept that incorporates all Euronet group products; an EFT ATM, prepaid and airtime epay cards and all Ria services.
Soon, our Nordics team will be inaugurating the shop-in-shop model in Europe by setting up kiosks within large-scale retailers across Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Spain.
We’ve also opened our doors in Fittja, a multicultural suburb in Stockholm, Sweden. With 70% of the residents being foreign-born, our services fit the community like a glove.
While many of our Spanish stores have undergone significant facelifts, our biggest accomplishment has been opening a store in Las Ramblas, Barcelona. Las Ramblas is one of the highest foot traffic locations in the world, attracting both locals and tourists from all over the world.
At Brixton, a multiethnic South London district, business is booming. In only six months, our new one-stop shop is already generating as much traffic as our older stores. It is also a key location for currency exchange and brings us closer to our Latin American and African customers in the area.
Our London expansion continued with our Southall store, located within a South Asian community where many Indians, Pakistanis and Romanians benefit from our services.
Up north in Wembley, we’ve opened our last store of the year. The area has a similar demographic to that of Southall, as well as being the home to the famous Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.
Looking towards 2019
This year, we’ve opened 15 stores in Europe, more than one per month.
Whenever a client steps into a Ria store, we want them to have a homogenous and positive experience.
“For extremely competitive markets such as money transfer, it has become imperative to offer outstanding customer service in order to differentiate yourself. When your customer feels prioritized, they identify with your brand and associate it with a positive experience. For us, there’s no better retail strategy than that.” shared Patricio Rojas Hubner, Ria’s Retail Director for the European Market.
So, what does the future hold for a company that has so much room left to grow?
New countries, new locations and new clients. All while offering the same excellent service our clients have grown to trust and love.