A Hampshire department store’s cookshop is reaping the benefits of a big boost in space and a complete refit.
The opportunity arose when the ground-floor furniture department within Smith Bradbeers, an AIS member store in Romsey, moved out of the premises to a new purpose-built shop in Hedge End.
Along with several other departments, the cookshop moved into the vacated space and underwent a six-week refit that was completed a month ago.
“It’s a whole new department – new flooring, new lighting, new fixturing – and it’s doubled in size to roughly 2,000sq ft,” cookshop manager Chris Church told HousewaresLive.net.
And he said that the move had given the cookshop the chance to increase its product offer.
“We’re now stocking a lot more tableware,” he went on. “We’re doing Emma Bridgewater, which we never did before, and Portmeirion’s Sophie Conran is brand new. We’re doing a lot more glassware, and we’ve also increased cookware – we’re doing Circulon which we never used to do – and a lot more electrical. We’ve gone into coffee: we’ve got Krups, De Longhi and Morphy Richards.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from consumers, some of them comparing us to John Lewis!” he added.
AIS housewares retail division manager Matthew De Leysin said he was also delighted with the new layout, look and performance of the enhanced department.
“We worked closely in conjunction with Bradbeers in the refit and expansion of the cookshop,” he told HousewaresLive.net.
“This is one of our best-performing cookshops, very well run by Chris Church and his team, with excellent display and merchandising standards. A real benchmark and standard to aim for!”
Church said that in terms of sales: “We’ve seen a jump pretty much straightaway, so it’s very encouraging bearing in mind we haven’t had the official launch yet.”