My grandfather would have loved to use video in his retail stores

As a traveling salesman in the 1950s, my grandfather Lars toured the country in a bus selling exclusive ladies’ coats. Together with his partner, my grandma, he successively expanded the business, establishing 15 Modedrive fashion stores around the country. I spent a lot of time hanging around their flagship store in Solna, talking with customers and staff, helping them find the right models and sizes and serving the most important customers hot coffee or chocolate from the then ultramodern machine, in the small kitchen behind the store.

I truly idolised my grandpa. It felt like he knew everybody in the whole world, and that everybody knew him. My dad used to say that he was the world’s best salesperson. I believed him. I couldn’t imagine a more exciting job, and I was so impressed how he related to his customers. He always reminded me that customer experience and topnotch service, are the key to success in any business.  He also taught me a lot about visual appearance. Not just being exceptionally well dressed himself but also the importance of presenting each and every product in the store the most attractive way, making the most of the entire range, both in the shop windows and inside the store. Using light, sounds and colours to inspire, customers would feel welcome and stay longer in the store. I wonder what my beloved grandfather would have said if I had told him that customers, 25 years later, would sit at home behind one of those computers used in offices to order ladies’ coats and other fashion items without seeing a friendly face. Just a small, stone dead image and some specifications.

Are you still not convinced that video could be a brilliant idea for e-commerce?

Johan Sundstrand, CEO