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Scalpers, a Process to Success

In last week's newsletter, we discussed leadership, one of the most valuable qualities, which can also be difficult to define due to its many facets. With this in mind, and to gain a clearer understanding of what leadership is, we bring you a new success story.

Scalpers, a prominent fashion chain, was born in Seville in 2007. Founded by the 20th Duke of Feria, Rafael de Medina, along with his friends Borja Vázquez and Alfonso Vivancos, Scalpers emerged following the failure of an eco-friendly car wash project.

"Scalpers practically came into being with the 2008 crisis; our determination and adrenaline kept us going."

Seeking to regain the confidence of those who supported them at the beginning of the project and motivated to generate income, they came up with a home tailoring service inspired by an idea from England. Without a formal business plan and a structure more akin to a group of friends than a corporation, Scalpers began as a way to make some money in the afternoons. By 2018, a decade later, the company was reporting sales of 42 million euros with 132 stores and multiple outlets.

"It is essential to never give up, even if many doors are closed to you. Persistence is key."

At that time, Rafael de Medina and other founding partners had sold their shares, expanding the management beyond the initial trusted group to include professional investors. With their demands, the team has been able to continue maximizing their efforts. Scalpers had evolved from being an exclusively male brand to include fashion for women and children, with the mini-me line.

Tienda de scaplers en bilbao - Optima Retail
Scalpers Bilbao

Pillars of Scalpers' Success

  1. Austere and Efficient Growth: Born in the midst of an economic crisis, one of the keys to Scalpers' success has been expense control and austerity in its growth. Vázquez humorously remarks that it wasn't voluntary austerity: "We didn't have a penny." However, the conditions in which the project began deeply influenced the company's future philosophy. Humility and resilience resemble each other in that both help us stay authentic through good times, bad times, and the worst times.

  2. Strategic Diversification: Scalpers expanded from men's fashion to include women's and children's lines, thereby broadening its market and reach. A brand cannot remain stagnant; if growth outward by opening more stores isn't possible, growth inward by expanding product lines is essential.

  3. Careful Selection of Partners: The company always sought strategic partners who not only brought capital but also raised the level of expectations and professionalism within the company. The decision to sell some shares of the company opened doors to professional investors who helped accelerate Scalpers' growth.

Scalpers' Learning: Reaching Further

  1. Charismatic Leader and Effective Communication: The best companies often have a charismatic leader and effective communicator. Jaume Gurt, Advisor & Mentor, points out that technology facilitates connection but not communication. The leader's communication effectiveness is crucial, especially in the digital age. While the company belongs to all its members, the image and message should be unified under a single leader. This is the best strategy to foster audience identification with the brand.

  2. Adaptability and Flexibility: Adapting and changing the business model was crucial for Scalpers. Instead of clinging to failed ideas, Borja and his team knew how to pivot, which enabled them to achieve success. Many projects fail prematurely due to the rigidity of our plans—a rigidity that can stem from our initial attachment to the project as originally conceived.

  3. Building a Strong Team: "Surround yourself with people who know more than you," is a recurring piece of advice among successful entrepreneurs. As the company grows, delegating to competent professionals is essential for the ongoing development of any project. There's always someone who does it better than you, so why not have them on your team?

  4. Added Value Against Competition: Executing an idea and providing added value are crucial. Competitors can copy the idea, but unique character and added value differentiate successful companies like Scalpers.

In summary, Scalpers is completing its own hero's journey, demonstrating that with persistence, adaptability, and a clear vision, a small idea can transform into an international retail giant. Join our Newsletter and stay informed about the retail world. SUBSCRIBE

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