Tiger Wales expands its operations and creates new jobs

Danish retail brand, Tiger, is expanding its operations in Wales by opening a new 195 sq metre store in Cwmbran that is set to create 10 new jobs.

The variety store, which sells own-brand Scandinavian design homeware goods, opened its first store in Cardiff in December 2013, with two female entrepreneurs heading up the joint venture partnership.

The new store, located in unit 30 on Gwent Square, Cwmbran sees Kate Methuen-Ley, 38, and Helen Corsi, 33, expand their business operations just seven months after opening the first Tiger store in Wales.

Headquartered in Copenhagen, Tiger has been working with Mrs Methuen-Ley and Miss Corsi as official partners of the retail brand since September 2013.

The duo originally came on board as partners of the Tiger brand in Wales, however, the region has recently been expanded and Mrs Methuen-Ley and Miss Corsi will now also roll out Tiger stores across the south west of England.

Kate Methuen-Ley, of Tiger Wales, said: “The Tiger brand and its products have been really well-received in Wales. It has been an exciting and successful first seven months in business for the Cardiff store and we’re feeling confident as we take the next step towards opening our second store.

“Cwmbran is a very busy town centre and, with more than 170 shops and free parking, it attracts an impressive 18 million visitors to the shopping centre each year, so for us it was a priority location to target when we were considering how best to grow Tiger in Wales.”

To finance Tiger’s second Welsh operation, Mrs Methuen-Ley and Miss Corsi have secured investment from Finance Wales and have gained further reinvestment from HSBC Bank, who supported the duo to open the Cardiff store.

The Cwmbran deal has been overseen by accountants Graham Paul and the store is set to open in September.

Miss Corsi said: “It has been a challenging few years for the retail industry, but the success of Tiger in Wales to date shows that if you have good products, and offer something a little bit different to consumers, the demand is there. 

“We have an ambitious growth plan to open at least five stores over the next five years in Wales and the south west, but we’re confident that as long we’re supplying the right products we’ll meet this target. We’re already negotiating retail space for the third Tiger store in Wales, which is set to open later this year, and there are more stores in the pipeline for 2015.” 

The 50-50 joint venture partnership with the parent company of the Tiger brand, Zebra A/S, is a model framework, which includes support from its Copenhagen base, but allows the partners to provide local expertise and drive the development of the store.

Miss Corsi added: “Tiger is growing in Wales and internationally too. Sales across all Tiger stores in 2013 were up 64 per cent to the value of £196 million. It’s great to be part of a brand that responds to the demands of its customers, offering a range of practical but fun products.”

Finance Wales investment executive, Oliver Jenkins said:

“Tiger Wales has already proved to be a popular store in Cardiff and Finance Wales is pleased to support Helen and Kate’s ambition to take the franchise to other parts of South Wales. The new shop will provide significant job creation as well as help enhance the local retail centre in Cwmbran.“

The Cwmbran store will be the 36th Tiger outlet in the UK, and the retailer is expanding with an average of two stores opening a week across Europe and the Far East. In 2013, 95 new Tiger stores opened globally, bringing the total number of stores to 314 by May 2014.