The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) hosted a networking webinar with Lakeland on 24th November at which Philippa Simons, Head of Buying and Scott Jefferson, Lakeland’s Commercial Director outlined the retailer’s plans. The presentation covered both an overview of Lakeland’s marketplace and three-year view, as well as touching on its specifically Covid-related learnings.
Key areas were the retailer’s category management strategy and its approach to Eco products, packaging and sustainability. The presentation was preceded by an update from BHETA Chief Operating Officer, Will Jones on BHETA’s member support package in 2020 and going forward, noting that BHETA’s webinars had ranged from lockdown advice to digital upskilling for the future to retailer networking. Will urged all members to be bold, to invest in the home enhancement upturn and inspire its continuation with innovative new products.
Philippa and Scott then shared details about Lakeland’s winning categories strategy in which clear opportunities were explored and driven forward, ‘credible’ categories benefitted from investment across good, better and best, and ‘best of’ categories were carefully curated to focus on key products. The Lakeland Stars concept in which individual products were particularly promoted was also outlined.
One of the ‘winning categories’ was identified as ‘Eco’, and Philippa outlined the retailer’s approach to sustainability. Authenticity was identified as massively important with Lakeland committing to proper investigation of wholistic eco credentials ahead of apparently pioneering, but ultimately compromised concepts. As a member of WRAP, Lakeland has the resources to verify eco authenticity in detail, but Philippa stressed the extent to which eco product and even more particularly eco packaging were areas of potentially significant expansion. This would include commitment to both branded products and an own label Lakeland Eco brand in 2021.
Scott also outlined a series of ‘Covid-learnings’ and the steps taken by Lakeland to address them in store and online. Observations included changes in store visit motivation from browse to buy, a significantly elevated engagement with marketing and a revitalised interest in print- led initiatives, thanks to increased time to browse and research.
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