“Everyone is investing in the home,” confirmed Scott Jefferson, Lakeland’s chief commercial officer in a webinar hosted by The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) this week (November 24). Scott and Philippa Simons, head of buying presented an overview of Lakeland’s marketplace and three-year view, as well as discussing the impact on Covid-19 on demand for housewares.
Scott acknowledged the huge growth in home shopping, spike in sales after shops reopened throughout July, and “massive engagement” in the MyLakeland loyalty programme, stating: “We’re in a good positive place.”
Philippa shared details about Lakeland’s winning categories strategy in which clear opportunities are explored and driven forward, ‘credible’ categories benefit from investment across good, better and best, and ‘best of’ categories are carefully curated to focus on key products. She also discussed the Lakeland Stars concept, which promotes example of winning products.
Eco is one of Lakeland’s ‘winning categories,’ reflecting customers’ concerns about deforestation, fossil fuels, oceans and landfill. Authenticity is massively important, with Lakeland committing to proper investigation of eco credentials. Membership of WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) is particularly useful, and Philippa stressed the extent to which eco product and packaging are areas of potentially significant expansion. Next year will see the launch of an own label Lakeland Eco brand, with exciting product developments.
Discussing the impact of Covid-19 on shopping habits, Scott also noted that shoppers now tend to be “on a mission” to buy rather than browse, and engagement with Lakeland’s marketing is very high. There has been a revival in interest in print- led initiatives, as more consumers have had “time to leaf through a catalogue” or look an inserts in newspapers.
Lakeland’s presentation was preceded by an update from BHETA’s chief operating officer, Will Jones on BHETA’s member support package in 2020 and going forward, noting that BHETA’s webinars had ranged from lockdown advice to digital upskilling for the future to retailer networking. Will urged all members to be bold, to invest in the home enhancement upturn and inspire its continuation with innovative new products.
“The landscape we’re operating in has changed forever,” Will reflected. He recognised that demand for home products is “not abating” and that most BHETA members “have reported better than expected sales this year,” although supply chain issues have been a key challenge.
* To register for any of BHETA’s current or future events, contact Nicola Adams at the BHETA Member Services Team on 07946078566, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Top: Eco display in Lakeland’s small format store in Reading.