HOUSE opens first UK stores

HOUSE CEO Steven Lew

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.

“I am proud and delighted that we have successfully opened our first three stores on schedule,” said HOUSE executive chairman and CEO Steven Lew.

The first HOUSE UK store opened at Westgate Oxford, coinciding with the launch of the online store, followed by The Lexicon in Bracknell. 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.

Meadowhall in Sheffield, will open in the next week while stores at Chapelfield in Norwich and Cribbs Causeway in Bristol will follow shortly after.

“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,” said Lew. “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.”

Developed meticulously with assistance from property consultants 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,” said Nick Symons, partner at MMX Retail.

Established in Australia in 1978, HOUSE is a member of the Global Retail Brands family which also includes the Robins Kitchen chain of stores. Together, they form Australia’s largest privately-owned and fastest-growing homewares and kitchenware group with more than 170 stores across all Australian states and territories. Global Retail Brands also operates online e-commerce websites for HOUSE, Robins Kitchen, Pet House and Your Home Depot.