Co-founder of Casaideas in Chile: “Ikea didn’t impress us… our business is different”

Co-founder of Casaideas in Chile: "Ikea didn't impress us... our business is different"

Design and home store chain Casaideas had to face everything in its twenty-year life. He was reborn from the ashes like a phoenix and survived various crises. Finally, the departure of the company general manager, José Luis Rodriguez, just a week ago and the escape of several members of the management team, such as the departure of general manager Javier Rodas or Human Resources manager Francisca Herrera at the beginning of the year.

Those who know Mauricio Russo, co-founder of the retail chain along with Claudia Venegas, insist. The company’s Achilles heel is precisely its lack of organizational structure and its break with corporate strategy. already defined by the company. “Mauricio is dry, agile on the business side and Claudia has an eye for unique design, but neither is very structural,” says a close associate of Casaideas.

There have been several torrential downpours in this 2022. One was the arrival of home design in Chile and the furnishing of the giant IKEA, galloping inflation and a depressed economy. These are all factors that affect pocket and consumption.

Several executives of the Chilean company stated that the arrival of the Swedish chain worried them, but in the end its impact was not so significant, an issue that was reaffirmed by Mauricio Russo, who answered questions from DF MAS from the USA. . The co-founder of Casaideas confirms that the arrival of IKEA “did not affect us”. Our business model and value proposition are different.”

The problem is different in the macroeconomic variables that come with it. “Inflation, the exchange rate and the fall in consumption affect us like any retailer,” he admits. “Fortunately, Casaideas is left with an affordable offer for all pockets. This is why Casaideas exists and we will always strive to continue delivering on this promise to our customers”, says.

Seven new stores in four countries in 2023

The chain has opened eight stores in the last 12 months, covering new cities in Chile, Peru and Colombia and reaching more customers in Latin America.

Today Casaideas has 40 stores in Chile, 23 stores in Peru, 10 stores in Colombia and 6 stores in Bolivia. Mauricio Russo says they hope to enter fifth, but does not reveal which. Expected to be Mexican on the market.

“Casaideas is designing a new strategic plan to address the challenges of growth and expansion over the next three years and has had to rethink certain guidelines for it, which includes changes in structure and line of execution in all cases,” he says. Mauricio, Russian.

A barometer for retail activity is openings. Even in this more complex climate, the company will continue its policy of adding more stores. “We continue to bet on the company’s proposed growth in the 4 countries where we operate,” says Russo. “We opened two stores in Colombia this year, and for 2023 we are considering opening two stores in Chile, one in Peru, one in Bolivia and three in Colombia.”

“All these stores have more than a thousand square meters of space to fully receive and display the Casaideas offer, including the brand’s largest store in the Plaza Egaña shopping center in Santiago, It has more than two thousand square meters of space,” the company says.

A particular concern for the company is taking care of the Casaideas family. “In such difficult times, It is the time when we show our social sensitivity the most as a company, such as a social epidemic and pandemic. and our focus on our employees, their families and the environment. We hope to continue on the same path,” says Russo.

Will they place bets online or in physical stores? “We have a big claim on the online channel as a strategy. The omnichannel strategy continues in all countries where we operate. Many new features are expected on the Chile website,” says the company’s co-founder.

many managers

Regarding the departure of his two chief executives, José Luis Rodríguez and Javier Rodas, Russo said, “Casaideas is devising a new strategic plan to address the growth and expansion challenges of the next three years. In any case, always reconsider certain directives that include changes in structure and execution line”.

Knowing the developments within the company, they reveal that the separation of the two executives was due to organizational disorganization almost similar to the corporate culture of Casaideas. Other executives emphasize this. Having a corporate general manager like Rodriguez with Mauricio Russo, being so present every day was not justified. “Lightweight companies with less structure are required today,” says a professional from the company.

Everyone agrees fPutting two admins was a mistake. Javier Rodas and José Luis Rodriguez are almost on equal footing, which inevitably brought friction and misunderstanding, with Rodas, who left at the beginning of the year, his first victim.

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