Monday 19 January first semester students from Cphbusiness Lyngby sat quietly in the big hall of Lyngby’s cultural centre (Lyngby Kulturhus).
On stage, Torben Schwabe, managing director at Lyngby Storcenter, was talking about the future challenges of the retail business. The future he envisioned isn’t bleak although it has its share of challenges.
Webshops are direct competitors and the same goes for shopping malls – even though they aren’t located just around the corner.
The assignment for the upcoming week was presented to the students; come up with an innovative business plan that, if implemented, will give a competitive edge to Lyngby Storcenter.
A business plan that is economically viable, creates value for Lyngby Storcenter and its visitors, contributes to the local community in a positive way and makes use of digital possibilities.
CLICC 3Is the development of the internet, mobile phones and online shopping a threat or an opportunity for Lyngby Storcenter, managing director Torben Schwabe asked the students? If nothing else, this development is an important factor.
- I had a good feeling on Monday but was pleasantly surprised none the less. You could have feared that the presentations were all about showmanship, but the presentation of all five groups had plenty of substance, Torben Schwabe said after the electing the winning team on Friday afternoon.
New pedagogy benefits the local business community
After the kick off meeting on Monday morning at Lyngby Kulturhus the students were faced with a week of hard work and collaboration with students from different study programmes.
The groups were made up of students from all the AP Degree programmes at Cphbusiness Lyngby - giving the each team knowledge about marketing, programming, design, accounting and much more.
These are competences that will benefit the local business community through these sorts of competitions, in which Lyngby Storcenter gets access to the wealth of knowledge produced by the students.
This is the first time that Cphbusiness puts students from different study programmes together in a competition of this scale, and the managing director at Lyngby Storcenter is happy about the results.
- I wouldn’t have dreamed of seeing results of the quality and calibre that I have seen today, Torben Schwabe said shortly after the winning team had been elected.
We are going all in
Friday afternoon five groups follow each other on stage at Lyngby Kulturhus. They have all moved on from the preliminary rounds earlier that day and are now called upon to make their presentations one by one. All the groups have made good point with the jury, but the team that grabs the win has a comprehensive concept.
- As consumers we want experiences. It is no longer enough for consumers to just go shopping for clothes. It is much easier to buy clothes online, so we have to do something extra ordinary that online shopping cannot do for consumers, says Isabella Capobianco, who along with Sandra Beenfeldt and Erina Nakato were the members of the winning team.
The concept is that Lyngby Storcenter should be more than a shopping center. It should be a MultiMall where experiences are in focus. There should be areas with different themes, the walls should be made up of screens stretching from floor to ceiling, giving you the feeling of standing on a mountain top and much more. It should be something that cannot just be copied – and it is ambitious.
- We started out on Monday thinking that it was too much. But then we thought: No, we’re going all in, says Sandra Beenfeldt and Isabella Capobianco continues:
- It was all or nothing. It should be worth it to take the trip for people from all of North Zealand, she says.
And even though the concept calls for big changes, Torben Schwabe believes in the idea.
- I believe that their vision for the future will be a reality within the next five or ten years, he says. And I don’t think that we will see the construction of any new major retail shops - such as shopping centres or department stores - without this type of technology, he says.
The five final groups all had solutions that made use of digital trends. Whether personal shopping assistants in the form of an app, rute planning, an interactive shopping centre or hidden offers that only pop up when you walk around with your phone in Lyngby Storcenter.
It may sound flighty to focus on technology for the sake of technology, but this is not the case, the managing director explains.
- The final ideas were all very concrete yet still managed to look to the future. They all managed to focus on the costumer but also to dress their solutions up in new technology, says Torben Schwabe.
- The final ideas were all very concrete yet still managed to look to the future. They all managed to focus on the costumer but also to dress their solutions up in new technology.
Torben Schwabe, managing director at Lyngby Storcenter
Cphbusiness and the business life
Cphbusiness has always had a strong tie to the business life and constantly work to strengthen collaborations. This is done through internships, final projects, costumer analyses and educational networks, but also through case competitions such as this.
Cphbusiness purpose is to contribute to growth in Denmark, which is also the goal of case competitions such as this.
It certainly won’t be the last time that we will see Cphbusiness collaborate with the business community about a case competition. We believe that both students, lecturers and not least the business community benefits tremendously, says Jan-Christian Haxthausen, project manager and lecturer at Cphbusiness.
When working with a real company and a real problem, the students are able to learn in a different way, he explains.
They have to be able to think outside the box and get a chance to come up with solutions that the companies themselves haven’t thought of. They get a chance to use their theoretical knowledge in practice and for a project such as this they get an opportunity to work together with students from other study programmes, Jan-Christian Haxthausen says.
Managing director at Lyngby Storcenter, Torben Schwabe, hands over the prize to two of the members of the winning team Isabelle Capobianco (centre) and Sandra Beenfeldt (right). Team member Erina Nakato was not present.