Denmark’s Largest Retailer Leans Into HCI

Coop Denmark is the largest retailer of consumer goods in Denmark. As the name implies, it’s a co-op, owned by its 1.6 million members, employing more than 40,000 people, and generating revenues of more than DKK kr50 billion (USD $7 billion) annually. The company operates 1,200 retail stores—including the chains Kvickly, SuperBrugsen, and Dagli’Brugsen—spread over Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.

Bottlenecks Bring Problems

With an inventory of more than 100,000 products to manage and a large, active loyalty program to maintain, Coop Denmark began to run into performance bottlenecks with its existing storage system. In order to speed performance, the company weighed two possible solutions: expanding the existing storage system with additional capital expenditures or implementing a new storage architecture based on hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).

Because the Coop Denmark had already implemented VMware-based virtualization to run its core business processes more efficiently, the firm chose VMware vSAN as its storage solution.

“The total cost of our IT systems is very important because we are operating in a very low margin market with very stiff competition,” says Soren Vendler, IT enterprise architect manager for Coop Denmark. “We are very keen on standardizing our IT so that it’s as cost-effective as possible.”

Better Performance, Lower Costs

With the implementation of vSAN and flash storage, the performance bottlenecks were eliminated. Today, vSAN powers all of Coop Denmark’s business processes, speeding everything from checkouts to inventory management. Implementing vSAN was also cost-effective.

“We were able to finance the design and implementation of our new vSAN server infrastructure by using the money we had put aside for maintenance of the old server platform,” says Vendler. “We didn’t have to go to the board and ask for any new money.”

Positioned for the Future

Implementing vSAN also keeps Coop Denmark nimble, which is important in a highly competitive and dynamic retail market.

“We feel that the retail business is due for a lot of changes in the coming years, but we also feel certain that vSAN will be of great support to us as we navigate those challenges in the future,” says Vendler.

Watch the video to find out how Coop Denmark used hyper-converged infrastructure to improve company performance and position itself for the future in a highly competitive market.