Temple & Webster says consumers still buying, despite housing downturn

Source: Instagram

Online furniture and homewares business Temple & Webster has lifted revenue 40 per cent to $49.3 million in the six months to 31 December 2018, compared to $35.2 million in the same period last year.

It reported $900,000 in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), up from a $500,000 loss in the same period last year.

The results suggest Temple & Webster has been largely unaffected by the housing downturn.

“The continued strong performance of our furniture categories during the half suggests consumers are still willing to spend money on their homes, and that our positioning around affordable beauty is resonating well with our customers,” Temple & Webster CEO Mark Coulter said.

“Our strategy of being a category specialist, with a clear customer offering built around the largest range of furniture and homewares in the country, combined with the most inspirational content and the best customer service is working.”

According to Temple & Webster, it has become the leading online retailer for furniture and homewares in Australia, though it notes only 4 per cent of such customers shop online – making up $500 million of a $13.6 billion industry, and leaving plenty of room for growth.

Looking toward the rest of the year, the company notes it plans to launch a dedicated mobile app, and continue to delve into adjacent product categories such as home improvement over time.

Additionally, the brand has committed to entering the New Zealand market by the end of FY19, with Coulter previously telling IR that it was likely to be positioned through online marketplace TradeMe to ensure a smooth entrance to the market.

“If that’s successful and we see demand for the offering, we’ll be looking to set up a dedicated digital presence. Our website, mobile site and potentially our mobile app,” Coulter said.

The brand is also seeking to further accelerate its investment into the trade and commercial division through the launch of its first “by appointment” showroom, and continue investigating an offline channel through the launch of a design studio in Sydney and an offline trial in Melbourne.

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