Flying Tiger (Danish Retailer) expands in Mass.


Stepping into Flying Tiger Copenhagen’s Downtown Crossing store, shoppers are met with neon unicorn lamps, plush Santa decorations and boldly colored reading glasses. It’s a random assortment of goods — and that’s how CEO Mette Maix likes it. “We want our stores to have things you get inspired by,” Maix said. “Each store gets at least 300 new products every month, so it is a bit like a treasure hunt.”

Flying Tiger doesn’t mind coloring outside of the lines — either in its business model or the playful coloring books it sells — as it prepares for a large U.S. expansion that’s heavily focused on the Bay State. The Danish variety store chain has growth rapidly since the brand was acquired by its current owners, EQT partners, in 2012.

The company opened its first U.S. location in New York in 2015 and its first four stores in Massachusetts over the last month. Executives are currently planning to open 20 more stores in New England over the next couple of years and eyeing further expansion along the East Coast.

In many ways, the brand doesn’t fit the criteria to grab a U.S. shopper’s attention — Flying Tiger doesn’t sell any products online, and up until this week, has shied away promotions and deals that fill the American shopping calendar. The company also has done little marketing over the years as they’ve expanded to roughly 950 stores worldwide.