When we talk about retail today, we’re talking about a hugely significant economic sector that encompasses all companies specialising in the wholesale and resale of products or services to a large amount of customers. That means we are talking about very different spaces, from Hypermarkets, Supermarkets, Discount, Outlets, Cash & Carry, Shop in Shop, Boutiques, Convenience Stores, Pop-up Store, Kiosks and Department Stores.
Since the company HMY was born, its history has been closely tied to the whole evolution of the retail sector; the two have been walking, growing and evolving hand in hand. The very origins of the Group date back to the 60s when the French company Hermès-Métal was founded with the goal of manufacturing shelves for the Gallic country’s supermarkets. It was at this exact time that the “Baby Boom” phenomenon meant that the first hypermarkets appeared in the United States under the chain Walmart, and in Europe under Carrefour.
Walking hand in hand
Since then, different milestones have characterised the history of retail, and also of the company, which has always evolved so as to suitably meet each changing need. In the 70s, HMY started to take its first steps in Spain right when the era of “Category Killers” began. These large stores provided the customer with the widest and most varied range at the best prices. Some of the big retail icons started to appear, such as Zara and Decathlon, which are still the big leaders.
However, it wasn’t until the 80s that HMY started to really expand when it opened franchises in France, Belgium and Spain. With Motorola bringing out mobile technology and the concept of large specialty stores multiplying, this was a decade of technological revolution. Two of the most glorious decades in retail thus began.
HMY group as it is today was born in the 90s, after the merger of French company, Hermés-Metal, and the Spanish company, Yudigar. And thus began its expansion throughout Latin America and Turkey. This was a historic moment – and not just for HMY. The changes that would later come to revolutionise the sector were underway, with the launch of Windows and Apple operating systems, as well as the appearance of the Internet and the accompanying sales channel as we know it today.
In the 2000s, technology would come to revolutionise retail and all the companies comprising it. These important technological developments have had so much impact, that we are even starting to observe changes in consumers’ behaviour that we never could have imagined. It’s now time to talk about the big milestones, such as the appearance of new online sales operators, the birth of social media, the creation of the first Apple Store and the start of Primark’s expansion, among many other stand-out events.
It is also at this historic time that HMY launched its Evolución P25 system and expanded its range of services. It went from being just a furniture manufacturer to providing services such as Concept and Visual Communication and Projects, which meet the growing demands of the ever-more sophisticated consumer. In addition to these new services, the company also started to diversify and expand to countries such as England, Italy, China and Indonesia.
The mobile era arrived around 2010, which shifted the paradigm of the way in which consumers buy. This is not just a change in buyers’ attitude to brands and retailers, but it also means the time has come to act, and place the shopper at the centre of every decision. Customer Centric arrives.
Mobile telephony evolved and became another commercial tool, fostering the future integration of offline and online channels. Furthermore, thanks to mobiles, the democratisation of technology pushed globalisation to previously unpredicted levels. While Nike launched its first interactive shop in London, large retail operators started expanding in Asia.
Meanwhile, HMY was creating its Retail Services division and began unifying the
brand. At the same time, the expansion process continued into countries such as Colombia, Angola, Poland and Scandinavia.
HMY kept expanding its business until the year 2015, when the commercial division division was born to service brands that had become more and more set on opting for their own stores and the specific campaigns to launch products. The company also expanded its range of solutions by integrating technological products with RFID,
Self Checkout and Digital signage. Next stop: Germany.
Meanwhile, retail had started to acquire more presence and play a bigger role on social media, where consumers prove to be much more selective in assessing the quality of products. But not everything is decided on social media. New trends that are closely tied to new technologies such as augmented reality started to emerge. As it happens, L’Oréal uses this system as a differentiating factor in the buying experience.
There’s no doubt that the future will be characterised by greater developments in innovation and technologies. These factors will characterise and define the buying experience, making it more of a distinct and competitive factor par excellence. Looking to the future, HMY will continue to innovate and provide the best solutions to retail services, as it has done since it began.
Due to the brands and retailers needs to digitize their physical point of sale, the Retail Tech division was born in HMY with the aim of offering its customers the most cutting-edge technological solutions to optimize their spaces and generate sales.