Busfrö Nytt & Bytt aims to encourage people to think and act more sustainably by providing an easy service for people to sell and buy clothes, toys and home decor second hand. Busfrö's clients can hand in used things and then get a percent of the sold price - easy, profitable and sustainable for the environment.
Jönköping International Business School
Busfrö's business idea is to be a modern and exciting chain of second-hand stores providing used women's and children's clothes, toys and home decor - all in a very nice condition. Busfrö provides an easy service for people to be more sustainable by turning in their used things but at the same time make money by doing good. Clients are simply turning in bags of things they no longer want to keep, Busfrö then unpacks, hangs, prices AND sells the clothes and the clients then get a percentage of the sold price - simple and profitable but at the same time sustainable for the environment. Busfrö's second-hand stores look a lot like regular clothing stores with a well-arranged layout, changing rooms and the service of card payments and the right to return items.
Stina Qubti, the founder and owner of Busfrö Nytt & Bytt, found her inspiration for the concept when she was a parent of small children and thought about the fact that the family's used children's clothes were piled up and taking a lot of unnecessary space. During a trip to New York in 2003 she stumbled across a small second-hand store for children's clothes and fell in love with the idea and the dream to start her own second-hand store was born. Stina founded Busfrö in 2010 as one single store and it has since then grown to a franchise concept with 5 stores in different Swedish cities and is still growing.
Veronica Ekdahl, franchisee of the Busfrö store in Jönköping and our interviewed, have always had interest in sustainable living and second-hand. Before joining Busfrö she worked most of her working career in the pharmacy industry which had a large focus on sustainability and the environmental effects of medicine. Veronica explains, "I felt like I wanted to do something new before retiring, something fun and on my own and something good for the environment. On a website I found the advertisement from Stina and I got excited. The concept feels modern and I get excited about innovations." Veronica contacted Stina who was looking for a Busfrö franchisee - and the match was made.
During the interview we found that Veronica was well aware of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We had already chosen to work with goal number 12 "Responsible Consumption and Production" which we thought that Busfrö supports very well. Goal number 12 aims at "doing more and better with less" and to "ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns" (United Nations, n.d). The fact that Busfrö does not produce any product themselves and instead only sells used things second-hand aims to "Responsible Consumption and Production" and their vision is to make people around them more aware of the importance of sustainability and the pros of shopping second hand. During the interview Veronica mentioned a positive effect with the fact that Busfrö's selection overall is in a very nice condition – the products sold often comes back when e.g. the kids had outgrown them or the customer has got tired of it and it can then be sold again. This creates a kind of circular flow which Veronica described as sometimes "third or fourth hand" instead of second hand.
"Lots of potential customers contact the founder, Stina, asking for a Busfrö store in their hometown. I mean, the problem is not to get customers, it is to attract the right franchisees," Veronica says. The company has grown fast and the customers in other cities are already waiting for new stores to open. Veronica mentioned that Stina sometimes even get contacted by city-planners who wants Busfrö to consider opening a store in their city, so the interest for this kind of business is growing fast and the Busfrö-brand can be considered attractive Busfrö is now focusing on spreading the concept and forming Sweden's first chain of franchise second-hand in private management. Their vision for 2030 is to be the certain choice for sustainable consumption in every Swedish city centre and to be Sweden's most publicly loved brand. Customers are the biggest contributor to Busfrö's ability to be profitable. Why customers choose to shop at Busfrö can for example be reasons as, the low price of the clothes, toys and home decor, and some people feel environmentally-friendly when shopping second-hand.
Busfrö has a couple of business benefits and the largest one is that they have a low capitalization. They do not need to do large purchases nor have a large stock of products, instead the products for the store are handed in by the clients. Busfrö do not need to pay the clients back before the products are sold. Nor are they obliged to pay their clients if they choose to donate the clothes to charity organisation "Human Bridge" instead of selling them in the store. As a result, the company runs a lesser financial risk than for example a normal store, who needs to buy a large stock of products before they can even open the store.
Extreme quantities of clothing, toys and interior design are handed in to Busfrö each month, which means that they cannot have everything hanged up in the store. There are high demands on the products of Busfrö regarding to quality, condition, fashion and season. As it is a win-win situation for the clients, costumers and the company, the quality of the products increase. The goodies are thus hung out in the store, and if they are not sold in 60 days, the clothes go to charity. As a result, it is high turnover on the clothes in the store. In relation to other second-hand stores, Busfrö keeps a higher quality of their products, which is a business benefit.
The largest societal and environmental benefit for Busfrö is the number 12 United Nations Global Goal, responsible consumption and production. To shop second-hand is both financial smart and environment-friendly. "I would like to change the concept of 'second-hand' to sometimes '3th- or 4th-hand.'" (Veronica, Busfrö Jönköping). People shop used clothes, toys and home decor in the Busfrö store and when for example the children have grown out of the clothes the clients come back with the clothes and sell them again. Shopping second-hand contributes in the long run to a decrease of mass production, which in turn contributes to the reduction of child labour. Reduction of mass production also contributes to emission reductions.
Clients hand in 4-8 tons of clothes each month to Busfrö. Clothes that not meets the standard is donating to a charity organization called Human Bridge. Each month 2-4 tons of clothes goes to this charity organization and that makes them a real contribute to the society. This act helps people in poor countries to get clean and nice clothes every month.
Veronica has from the start of Busfrö hired people from a "job center" called "Arbetsförmedlingen." Those are people who are in training-process to be ready for the working-market. Veronica also always has a trainee from the "job center". This is a good act, both for the persons in question and for society and it helps Veronica to keep down the costs. As an employer, you receive contribution from the "job center" when you hire someone who is training to be ready for work.
Veronica Ekdahl, Franchisee
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Business Website: http://www.busfro.se
Year Founded: 2014
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
The idea behind a for-profit second hand store in Jönköping called Busfrö Nytt & Bytt is to get people aware of sustainable thinking by providing an easy service for people to sell and buy clothes, toys and home decor second hand. Busfrö's clients can hand in used things and then get a percent of the sold price - easy, profitable and sustainable for the environment.