The competition was launched at the co-located trade shows Exclusively Housewares and Shows Exclusively Electrical, which were held in London in June.
The initiative offered one retailer attendee the chance to benefit from a consultation with trend forecaster Scarlet Opus. The consultation will review the store’s layout, décor, product offering, website, social media and merchandising, and provide recommendations to create a retail environment that is appealing to today’s consumer.
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’.
Huus is an independent brand and lifestyle concept store that specialises in contemporary home accessories and gifts inspired by North European design. The brand name is based around the Northern Europe and Scottish words for house. Product categories carried by the shop include kitchenware; tabletop; candles and holders; lighting; furniture; and tea, coffee and chocolate.
Huus believes its challenges include increasing its curb appeal (due to the premises’ small high windows) and product selection. Owners Jane and Rob Dekker said: “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 for our new brand/concept of Northern European home lifestyle and gifts.
“Huus is based on our experience of this concept from living in The Netherlands (Ron is native Dutch). Attending the show and its seminars gave us new insights into design trends and marketing in the housewares sector.
“Although we believe our business strategy is strong, we put ourselves forward for the contest as we know that somebody with a fresh view of the business will find new and different opportunities that we might not see – and will challenge us in our thinking about the future direction of Huus. Tunnel vision can creep in easily and it’s important to keep up with, and ahead of, the market in this difficult era of British retailing.
“The Thrive and Survive consultation will be a fantastic opportunity for us to identify opportunities to strengthen our brand and business. We are very excited!”
Exclusively Shows will be sharing the results of Huus consultation over the coming months.