Modern furniture brand GlobeWest, which for the past 15 years has only been available via interior designers or upscale boutiques, opened its first permanent direct-to-consumer (D2C) store, an outlet, in the Melbourne suburb of Springvale last month.
Offering 50 per cent off RRP, the outlet enables GlobeWest to clear excess stock, samples and seconds from its warehouse and showrooms more quickly, so it can bring new products to market, according to Kirsten Thompson, head of marketing communication.
“Because the design market is the core of what we do, we are super focused on progression,” Thompson told Inside Retail. “Our boutique retail customers want really forward products.”
Being on the cutting-edge of design trends means that GlobeWest doesn’t always get its products or colours right, and the outlet store provides a way to rectify that.
“This is really about inventory management and making sure we can move [products that haven’t sold],” Thompson said.
In the past, GlobeWest held three-day sales that were open to the public to clear stock, but the pop-ups couldn’t keep up with the growing business.
According to Thompson, GlobeWest’s sales have been growing in the double digits for the last five years, thanks in part to an increased focus on brand building.
“We [used to be] more of a supplier, building product ranges for the design industry. Around five years ago, we started to shape the business into a brand,” Thompson said.
This has helped GlobeWest connect the various sides of the business. In addition to supplying furniture retailers and interior designers, it also provides property styling services, furnishes show home and works with hotels.
It also comes amidst the rise of D2C, one of the biggest shifts in the retail industry in recent years, which has seen many brands that were once primarily wholesale open standalore stores and launch online.
But according to Thompson, GlobeWest doesn’t plan to grow its D2C business beyond the Springvale outlet store.
“The brand has been built very deliberately and strongly with the indirect model,” she said. “That model has been working for us.”