Few & Far – Reinventing the Furniture & Homewares Category
It’s nice to see innovation in a category that has for quite a while been in the ” boring retail” category and it just goes to show how the younger generation retailer is sidestepping the traditional bricks & mortar corporate feel and approach to inspire through innovation.
I was heading down the coast from Sydney for a long week-end in Mollymook and dropped into Berry for a coffee and pie and my partner decided on some retail therapy and we came upon the newly opened double-fronted Few & Far on the main street.
Tara and Danny Solberg in September 2009, opened their store in the paradise where they grew up – Huskisson, Jervis Bay. Since then they have opened stores in Bowral, Leura, and Berry plus have a thriving online business.
Few & Far ticks the box in so many ways, creative design, unique products, store layout, friendly enthusiastic/knowledgeable staff and space galore to walk around and discover at your leisure. In addition, the website is aligned to the store imagery (or vice versa) and the Shopify e-commerce engine while not perfect does the job. Here is the kicker, the price points are on the money providing high value to all shopper demographics with items like for example plant pots starting at $12 right through to unique one-off items at the luxury end. Finally, the stores are in locations that suit their demographic – high tourist, middle to high demographic.
While most furniture and homeware retailers are struggling to inspire and have been riding off the back of the housing boom which is about to expire based on the latest housing statistics (Residential Approvals and Alterations and Additions are collapsing see chart opposite) Few & Far have taken a ” New Retail” Approach to success.
Williams Sonoma who operates 19 Stores and an e-commerce site and in the USA generate 54% of annual sales from e-commerce is another innovative brand I like.
For CEO’s and Buyers of our more traditional furniture and homeware retailers hop in your car and travel to Berry, grab a coffee and pie, sample the fresh country air and check out what inspirational retail looks like.