HEALing power of the high street as iconic furniture store gets a revamp | City & Business | Finance

Forget the economic doom and gloom – blue skies lie ahead, says the boss of an iconic furniture store which has just doubled its street frontage.

Ever since introducing well-heeled Londoners to the comfort of French feather-filled mattresses in 1810, Heal’s has been a British institution.

And despite the economic headwinds, the street-level frontage of its Tottenham Court Road store in London has grown bigger to help blend old shopping habits with new.

By investing in a bigger “bricks and mortar” store Heal’s is seeking to buck the trend of large retailers deserting high streets to focus on trading online.

Heal’s chief executive, Hamish Mansbridge, believes retail stores still have a place on the high street, allowing consumers to see goods before they buy them, even if they then buy online.

READ MORE: Kate and William release super-slick 5 minute Coronation video with behind scenes footage

It is this “retail mix” that he believes helped Heal’s achieve record financial results last year.

Hamish admits: “We have lower footfall on the high street, no doubt about that. So we need to make a visit to the store a really fantastic experience.

“Shopping itself used to be the national hobby. It still is to some extent, but you have to give people something else. We are going to have to work harder, particularly in city centres, to encourage people to come in.”

Since 2021 Heal’s has been owned by US private equity firm KKR and the property developer General Projects.

Hamish says the store’s new layout will allow shoppers to sit on sofas or lie on beds, which remains key before making a purchase.

He said: “Half of our custom is now online, but the majority of people buying any big ticket have been into one of our seven stores to touch, feel and try first.

“You spend a third of your life in your bed. I think it is madness to think you can just buy a mattress in a box without trying it.

“The same is true, to a lesser extent, for sofas and chairs.”

Hamish also praised his predecessor for embracing internet shopping back in 2001. He says: “It was a great move to get in there early when the internet was in its infancy. We were at the vanguard when mass shopping became available online.”

Hamish admits 2023 has been tougher than last year, with consumers being careful with their cash. But he still feels there is reason for optimism.

He says: “I think there is blue sky at the end of the grey period.

“I would encourage people to support their economy, support British businesses and support people’s jobs.”

Denial of responsibility! Macprotricks.com is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – at loginhelponline@gmail.com The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Read original article here

Leave a Comment