Competition is about to hot up in the UK kitchenware market as Australian retailer House prepares to make its debut.
As revealed by Retail Week, the business is planning to open its first tranche of shops in April next year, with a view to growing a store footprint of around 75 shops over the next three years.
House is the latest in a line of Australian retailers to venture onto British soil, following the arrival of Typo, Honey Birdette, Kikki.K and Lovisa.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest Australian entrant plotting to disrupt the UK retail scene.
- House celebrates its 40th birthday next year and is owned by Global Retail Brands.
- The group also owns Robins Kitchen – a kitchenware specialist with 68 stores Down Under.
- House describes itself as Australia’s largest independent retailer of homeware and kitchenware products, and has 104 stores across the country. Its head office and warehouse is in Melbourne.
- The business launched 22 new stores in Australia during 2016/17 and now employs more than 1,200 staff.
- House boasts a database of 1.5 million VIP customers, who it engages with through weekly email offers.
- Its success in growing that customer base has led to more than 10 million pieces of House cookware now being used in homes across Australia.
- House stores in Australia hold around 4,000 core SKUs including cookware, glassware, small electrical appliances, knives and crockery.
- Its ecommerce site, which launched a click-and-collect option in April 2016, sells an additional 8,000 products from across the bathroom, bedroom, decor and pet categories.
- The retailer stocks a host of popular brands, including KitchenAid, Thermos, Marie Claire, Breville, NutriBullet, Jamie Oliver and Joseph Joseph.
- House also has partnerships with a clutch of celebrity Australian chefs including Pete Evans, Luke Nguyen, Curtis Stone and Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin.
- In the same vain as department store operators like John Lewis, House offers a gift registry service for newlyweds.
- House prides itself on its knowledgeable workforce, giving each new store manager or assistant store manager AUS$8,000 worth of products to take home, use and review.
- In its native Australia, House hosts impromptu giveaway events, driving footfall to stores by offering shoppers a free gift with any purchase. It means customers can walk out with a free product worth as much as AUS$1,000, even if they have only spent a fiver in store. House plans to run similar events in the UK.
- House has also become renowned Down Under for other attention-grabbing marketing campaigns, through a mix of TV ads, radio announcements, posters, giant billboards, Facebook and Instagram.