talking shop


‘A fantastic opportunity’

Independent housewares retailer Huus is the winner of the Exclusively Shows’ Thrive and Survive’ competition. Joint partners Ron and Jane Dekker tell their story.

Northern European countries and our love of shopping in lifestyle stores in The Netherlands.

Tell us a bit about your business. It’s actually all in the name, which was created using the Dutch, Scandinavian and Scottish words for ‘house’ or ‘home’. We look predominantly to Dutch and Danish design trends for ideas but we source products from many other countries too, which reinforce this styling concept of clean lines and colours. We have created a relaxed retail space where

customers can be inspired by a range of carefully selected housewares, home accessories, lighting and small pieces of furniture that are both affordable but stylish.

L-R: Scarlet Opus futurist Victoria Redshaw at Huus with joint partners Ron and Jane Dekker S

ix months ago, Ron and Jane Dekker visited the co-located London trade shows Exclusively Housewares and

Exclusively Electrical for the first time -- and decided to enter a competition held at the two- day event by organiser Brooke House Exhibitions. The contest, called ‘Thrive and Survive’, offered

one retailer the chance of a free consultation with trend forecasting agency Scarlet Opus and the couple, who are joint partners of independent housewares retailer Huus, were “absolutely delighted” when they heard the news that they had won. The consultation includes a review of their store’s

layout, décor, product range and merchandising, along with an assessment of its website and social media presence, and offers recommendations ‘to create a retail environment that is appealing to today’s consumer’. Rob and Jane opened Huus in November 2017 in

the Suffolk market town of Halesworth. They recall: “We visited Exclusively Housewares after only being open for eight months. It was therefore still early days in terms of our knowledge of product selection, customer profile, footfall, marketing and so on. “Although we believe our business strategy is

strong, we put ourselves forward for the project as we knew that somebody with a fresh view would find new and different opportunities that we might

32 |

not see – and would challenge us in our thinking about the future direction of Huus.” Exclusively Shows said Huus was chosen for ‘the

opportunities it presents, its enthusiasm to take part and its openness to react to and implement the recommendations’. Scarlet Opus director Phil Pond and futurist

Victoria Redshaw visited Huus in late November – and their recommendations will be revealed in a forthcoming issue of Housewares Magazine.

What’s your background? Ron: I’m native Dutch and trained as a photographer at The Hague in The Netherlands. I then worked in the graphic design industry, owning my own studio in Amsterdam for a number of years. Jane: my background is in International Human

Resources and Organisation Development. I lived in The Netherlands for nine years. We moved to the Scottish Highlands in 2007

where we owned three retail businesses, including a photographic studio, before relocating to Suffolk in 2017.

Why did you decide to open Huus? A decision to live closer to family led to us moving to the south-east. Being in a much more accessible location to establish a relevant customer base, we could then explore a retail concept which we had been thinking about for a while, using both our experience of design and consumer trends in • December 2018

Describe your product mix. The Dutch would call Huus a ‘lifestyle concept store’ which means a range of home accessories from candles and tableware to small furniture and lighting that together create the individual atmosphere of our living and working spaces. We mainly stock products from Dutch and Danish

design companies but the range is sourced from a number of countries, including many small design companies in the UK, whose product styling fits the Huus branding.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44