Julia Constable gives us the scoop on the new store opening this week and takes a look at the strategy behind their business model…
Many of you will have already heard of T.K. Maxx, the retail giant with over 400 stores across Europe and a cult following among bargain hunters, eager to get their hands on big brands with purse-friendly price tags. Committed to delivering value for money by offering designer labels at affordable prices, the discount retailer has enjoyed continued success in the UK market and its sister store, HomeSense, now aims to replicate its success. With the new Leeds store opening this week on the Headrow, I went to check out the existing store at Birstall Shopping Park on the outskirts of the city, to discover what makes the HomeSense business model different from its high-street competitors. More importantly, what does HomeSense have to offer students in Leeds?
With an eclectic mix of branded kitchenware, artisan hand-crafted furniture and unique home furnishings, the store has a bohemian feel and provides the customer with a broad range of products to choose from, with up to 60% off the recommended retail price! In order to find out how the store was able to provide such discounts, I interviewed Ruwais Khan, a Sales Associate who was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Mr. Khan explained that as an “off-price retailer” HomeSense has a “low-cost structure” which is possible because their strategy is to “take advantage of deadstock”. Ultimately, HomeSense is able to offer products at lower prices than the typical market value (off-price), by purchasing “deadstock”, brand new merchandise which has become outdated and is subsequently removed from sale because of changing fashion trends.
HomeSense has a team of buyers that purchase unique stock every month, which guarantees the steady supply of branded products and exclusive seasonal pieces the whole year round. Mr. Khan also emphasised that a number of branded items on sale are purchased from competitors’ suppliers, and would have been found in department stores such as Marks & Spencer, only a few months earlier. Considering this, HomeSense offers incredible value for money for the average consumer. However, what does the store have to offer especially for students? Mr. Khan clarified that although they don’t do student discount, they did run a successful ‘Passport to Uni’ campaign last year, offering discounts on student essentials such as bedding, kitchenware and small furniture items. Hopefully, following this campaign, HomeSense will be running another similar promotion before the start of the semester this Autumn, with plenty of offers tailored towards savvy students looking to save some money. Whether you’re looking to find one-of-a-kind statement pieces with that “edgy Leeds” aesthetic, or simply hoping to bag yourself a bargain, it might be worth shopping around before you make your final purchase, since HomeSense has shown us that there are huge discounts to be had if you’re willing to look for them!
By Julia Constable
Photo from: (Julia Constable)