retail and giſt

The gift that keeps on giving

With the housewares and giſtware categories proving lucrative for businesses in the garden industry, we find out what’s doing well and whether these ranges are likely to expand.

completely decorating their homes or a few cheeky decorative items and giſts they just can’t say no to, and with new trends identified at events such as Exclusively which had a 5% spike in visitors this year, there’s more reason than ever to look at refreshing this section and in your business. Taking up the helm as managing director at Squire's Garden Centres three years ago, last year Martin Breddy highlighted plans to grow the business by 20% and increase footfall across the independent network of centres by


ousehold goods and housewares is a category that will always grab consumer interest, whether it’s aſter

15% in five years. With shopper numbers a key part of Mr Breddy’s growth plans, he has set himself he has set himself a five-year goal to increase footfall across Squire’s 15-strong network of centres by 15%, by "bringing more new customers through the door and getting infrequent customers to visit more often.” An increase of footfall and focus on enticing new customers is paramount to the housewares category succeeding, Sarah Squire, chairman at Squire’s says: “The home, gift and clothing categories together now make up around 20% of turnover at Squire’s so they’re very important to us. The huge variety of products that we sell helps attract new

customers, and ensures we offer an enjoyable shopping experience for everyone - which means people spend more time browsing and buying in our centres. The category also makes us slightly less weather-dependent than our core gardening offer.” Housewares and giftware have really evolved

over the years and Sarah says “we now have a large range on offer from home fragrance to kitchenware and more recently, fashion accessories. The range is changing and growing all the time following retail trends. Our specialist buyers choose items that are commercial, but also those that are little different to what you might find on the High Street. We deal with a mix of suppliers from established brands like Portmeirion and Wax Lyrical to smaller companies such as St Eval and Lua. We are always on the lookout for something new to offer our customers,” she adds.

Garsons managing director, Ian Richardson says cookware is huge for its housewares and gift turnover but there’s a new focus with environmentally friendly household products: “We currently offer an extensive range of kitchenware which includes on trend product. Cookware, gadgets and table ware ranges, eco- friendly products are trending. We sell the big brands such as le creuset, Joseph Jospeh, sophie allport and kitchencraft. Cookshop is approx. 17% of our gift turnover.” He says he thinks housewares are “synonymous with garden centres that have a good range of giftware and it fits nicely as a category within this offer. It is extremely important to us, second only to toys within the gift department.”

14 | GCU July 2019

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