The Electronic Retailing Association

Interview with Jan Heere, Studio Moderna's new CEO: How is Studio Moderna responding to our changing world?


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Jan Heere, CEO Studio Moderna

Jan has been CEO at Studio Moderna since November 2019. He was formerly Global Managing Director of the cosmetic brand KIKO MILANO, a global business operating over 1,000 stores across 20 countries.

Prior to that, Jan was International Director at Marks and Spencer, responsible for 54 markets and leading the expansion into seven new territories during his tenure. 

Jan also spent close to 10 years in senior positions at Inditex, the company behind brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti and one of the most successful fast fashion companies in the world. In five years as General Manager of Inditex Russia CIS he successfully grew the network of Inditex stores with 200 new store openings.

Many thanks to Marjeta Dimnik from Studio Moderna for contributing the following Interview to the ERA Global News. In this interview, CEO Jan Heere talks about how Studio Moderna stays relevant in our fast changing world, discusses growth strategies and gives insight into how the company is coping with the challenge of Covid-19. Please note, the interview was conducted in early April.

We live in a constantly changing world. How does Studio Moderna, one of the top companies in the industry, ensure it stays relevant in today's active marketplace?

Jan Heere: Studio Moderna remains relevant with advanced product know-how, skillful storytelling and strong geographical presence. To continue to be present in our customers' minds, we are focusing on capturing the ever growing trend of digital transformation in the region. The world is spinning fast and if you do not spin with it, you will get spun.

Technology has radically reshaped virtually every sector of industry and customers today have far more choices and far greater expectations. Taking advantage of digital disruption is certainly one of the foolproof ways to see continued relevance, accelerated growth and success going forward. That, and being continuously in touch with the customers’ needs and putting the customer experience first.

Studio Moderna is a leading omnichannel retailer in Central and Eastern Europe. Which channels are the most important for you and which are growing fastest?

JH: Direct response television is our sales channel with the longest history which contributed significally in developing our unique omnichannel approach. Historically, Studio Moderna would tell stories and connect with the customers through television and telephone, but... disruption is radically changing markets and causing a paradigm shift in how things are done in business. All our sales channels are important, but in this new era e-commerce and digital are in the foreground.

What is the growth strategy for Studio Moderna?

JH: E-commerce and new technologies have a major role in our company's long-term business strategy. Digital transformation is mainly about improving customer experience and today what makes or breaks the business is an ability to accurately offer and deliver faster what the customer wants.

We believe Studio Moderna is very well placed to continue to lead the industry and to build on a strong foundation of engaging customer experience. We are commited to further strengthening our position in the region, growing our brands and creating new avenues and partnerships. Our brands are constantly evolving to ensure we keep abreast of changing needs in the marketplace. Giving the best customer experience is everyone’s job in our company.

The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives and businesses worldwide. How is Studio Moderna responding to the situation?

JH: In these unprecedented times, our focus is more than ever on our colleagues' and customers' safety. We are working hard to acclimatise to the new circumstances by providing adapted solutions, delivered to our customers' doorsteps in the safest way.

In most of our markets, the stores have already been closed, but activities on other channels continue to run. We are focusing all our effort into the direct-to-consumer channels, our call center agents are equipped to work from the safety of their home and we are taking all the steps to continue to provide the best experience in home delivery.

We are increasing our online activity in order to reach our customers through our websites, e-mails and social media platform, and we are testing new ways of engaging our retail customers virtually. I see this crisis also as an opportunity to speed up the pace of digital transformation.

At the moment, (Editor's Note: this interview was conducted in early April) we have more than 1500 call center agents able to work from home and we continue to increase this number. For employees for whom working remotely is not possible, we are ensuring they continue to provide our customers with the best service, but with strict safety measures taken.

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About Studio Moderna

Studio Moderna is a leading omnichannel, multi-brand and direct-to-consumer electronic retailer with significant scale and reach across Central and Eastern Europe.

Its portfolio of own-brands across the home, living, health and wellness categories (Dormeo, Delimano, Walkmaxx, Rovus, Wellneo …) caters to a population of over 360 million people across 21 countries.

Moreover, Studio Moderna is present at every step of the customer journey through its numerous digital and physical distribution channels (DRTV, internet, print, retail, telemarketing and retail partners), ensuring a seamless customer experience.