- Homeware retailer HomeChoice is breaking away from its traditional mail-order model and rolling out physical stores across the country.
- It recently opened its first store in Joburg, at a cost of about R6 million – and it features a whole two-bedroom house inside.
- We were particularly impressed by a cosy waiting area, where customers can get queries handled and pick up orders.
Situated in one of the Joburg CBD’s busiest shopping hubs,
HomeChoice’s first ever brick and mortar store in Johannesburg on the corner of Fox and Rissik streets – right in the city's shopping heart – is not easy to miss. Perched among some of Johannesburg's iconic heritage buildings, the new store’s very contemporary and cosmopolitan design stands out starkly.
The mail-order giant spent some R6 million to build its sixth showroom, which at a little over 2,000 square metres is now the flagship in a strategy that is seeing it move aggressively on retailers such as Mr Price Home, @Home and Edgars Home (formerly Boardmans).
The store features a two-bedroom show house on the ground floor with a lounge, kitchen, and even a bathroom that will have you at 'hello'.
The kitchen showcases the retailer's cabinets alongside cutlery, cookware, crockery, kitchen linen, curtains and appliances.
The bathroom is uber realistic and has mats, curtains, paintings, mirrors and towels on display.
The bedrooms have HomeChoice's core products, bedroom sets with coordinated curtains, but also furniture like headboards and sideboards on show.
The final bedroom touch is the blanket display, constructed to encourage you to get tactile with the merchandise.
The retailer also offers a huge range of furniture and decorations, from couches to paintings.
So far, so much what we'd expect from a homeware store. Then we found the travel-set section.
HomeChoice has surprisingly expanded it's bag offering to include handbags.
And discovered that HomeChoice now stocks high-end shoe brands the likes of Pierre Cardin for both men and women.
Then there's an assortment of appliances ranging from refrigerators to washing machines.
A small section of the store is dedicated to tech gadgets like smartphones, tablets and laptops.
The adorable ground floor corner of the store carries HomeChoice's merchandise for babies and kids.
There is a beds section filled with a wide range, plus duvets.
Then there is the entire underground section of the store.
Beneath the showroom is the business end of the business, handling orders and returns, and other customer-service functions.
Customers can also take a seat at one of the trendy self-service workstations, connect to the net to either shop on the retailer's website or manage their accounts.
The underground section comes with a cosy waiting area where kids can keep occupied.
The kids' waiting area is stocked with puzzles, stationery, colouring and reading books.
The new store’s manager Rachel Thango tells Business Insider SA it is already doing well, pulling in customer who want to be able to touch the wares.
The company says it is planning three to five more stores each year, with a current goal of 30, and expects to see those make a return within two years.
More cool stores we've checked out:
- We shopped at Yuppiechef’s new physical stores in SA malls – here's how their shops differ from other retailers
- Starbucks just opened its 11th store in SA – with ‘the fastest WiFi of any retailer’
- We got a sneak peek of French hardware store Leroy Merlin about to open in Joburg – and Builders Warehouse should be worried
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