Australian homewares and kitchen retailer HOUSE has opened its first three stores in the UK, with three more locations to open before the end of June. The first HOUSE UK store opened at Westgate Oxford, coinciding with the launch of the HouseUK.com online store, followed by The Lexicon in Bracknell. Meadowhall in Sheffield, will open in the next week while stores at Chapelfield in Norwich and Cribbs Causeway in Bristol will follow shortly after.
Through its physical and online stores, HOUSE UK is initially offering more than 4,000 products including cookware, bakeware, glassware, kitchen gadgets, small electrical appliances, knives, table linens and accessories.
'We announced our plans for HOUSE to expand into the UK market last year, and we plan to continue our rollout swiftly. We have one more store opening this month, and two more by the end of June,' says Steven Lew, HOUSE executive chairman and CEO. 'We received a tremendous reaction at store openings. Customers are so excited to share in the experience. I was extremely enthused watching people interacting and shopping in store.
'We are passionate about cooking, dining and entertaining, and our ambition is to be the ‘go-to’ destination for people who share our passion. Our expansion will be very much opportunity-led, and our strategy is to create a sustainable operation that prioritises being
best-in-class, over being the biggest. Being the biggest is a flow on from having the best all-round offering.
'Physical stores are not dead. They are only dead if the retailer cannot adapt its model, and landlords and business partners are not willing to work together in their mutual best interests. The approach must be collaborative, holistic and realistic,' says Lew.
Developed meticulously with assistance from property consultant MMX Retail, HOUSE’s plan is to open 75 UK stores and provide employment for up to 1,000 people within three years.
'It was great to get the first physical store opened and watch the reaction from the customers, and also listen to their feedback. We also had some of the UK’s leading landlords and their advisers in store, and their response to HOUSE UK was tremendous. We are now looking to progress negotiations for another batch of store openings for later in the summer,' says Nick Symons, partner at MMX Retail.