22 July 2024, 20:35
By Furniture News Dec 16, 2022

Branded display gets the OK in Haskins

The in-store gallery is a vital tool in a furniture brand’s arsenal, and can bring an extra dimension to its host’s offer. This year, Shepton Mallet’s Haskins Furniture embraced the distinctive vibe of The Branded Furniture Company’s Orla Kiely range of chairs – and the partnership is going strong, reports Haskins’ MD, Jade Farthing …

We didn’t have much patterned furniture, and it’s great to see these bold patterns and colours in-store. It has certainly filled a gap in the product portfolio. 

Haskins’ customer base shares some of the typical Orla Kiely customer characteristics anyway, and as we are already brand-led, it seemed to make sense to bring another well-known brand in that could offer something that a lot of other manufacturers don’t offer. 

Our customer base typically comprises 55-65 year-olds, which is similar to Orla Kiely’s – but we’re on a journey to expand our customer base, so we’re trying to ensure we have something for everyone. Today, customers are wanting more colour and bold statements, as well as function and comfort. The Orla Kiely range brings style as well as comfort. 

We’ve learnt it’s important to convey the brand’s story and authenticity when setting up a branded installation in-store. Styling and ‘zoning’ areas are a great way of storytelling in stores. The pops of colour and pattern that the Orla Kiely range has to offer help break up some of the store’s more traditional areas. And of course, it sits alongside a number of other high-quality furniture brands, so we think they all complement each other very well.

Above all, we must ensure we create an engaging in-store customer experience – one that’s worth travelling for.  

Most brands are very prescriptive when it comes to visual merchandising. We’re often given lengthy brand guidelines to follow.  We were provided with a visual merchandising guide, but it wasn’t too prescriptive, and we had the freedom to adapt their suggestions to suit our store where necessary – we followed the guidance from the Orla Kiely and The Branded Furniture Company (TBFC) teams, but we were also able to put our own twist on it. 

We loved picking the fabrics and pairing them with the paint and wallpaper. As well as having the Orla wallpaper and colours, we’ve framed some of the wallpaper, and used accessories and some dining pieces to create roomsets that customers can easily visualise for their homes. We’ve also used the wallpaper in other areas of the store to lead customers to the Orla Kiely gallery, and have put the Orla Kiely accessories in our interiors department, which helps build the story and gives customers a visual in a different part of the store. 

It was very much a collaborative effort between us and TBFC (which is also unusual for a brand). My GMs and showroom manager love the brand, so were very excited to work with (TBFC sales agent) Emma Hughes and create something special. Emma was extremely helpful, and has done lots of training with the team so they feel confident to sell the products. It was really refreshing to work on the visual merchandising of the store together.

We know today’s customers are looking for more than just a walk round a bland furniture store. They need to be able to visualise the furniture in their own homes, and galleries like this help with that. Customers now expect a shopping ‘experience’, and are prepared to travel for it. 

Our displays need to be inspiring and engaging – not only to secure sales, but to ensure customers keep coming back to us. Haskins has a reputation for being a ‘destination’ in terms of quality and furniture design, which fits well with the Orla Kiely brand. 

Sales are good so far, and we’ve received very positive feedback from both customers and staff. We are looking forward to see how this progresses in the coming months.

We also hope to attract new customers to the store that specifically want to buy this style of furniture.

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