The decade of @home

Article by TFG on BizCommunity
Lifestyle retailer @home has reported that ‘wellbeing’ continues to be the most searched word on the @home website after having never featured in their top 20 words searched for the website before. Customer sentiment, sales indicators and community impact of this category confirm that the ‘decade of home’ is here to stay.
“In the early days of lockdown, we noticed that the conversation changed from healthy living to wellbeing. The role that one’s home plays in this narrative is pivotal as that is the central place where one’s wellbeing begins. How well you sleep, how well you eat, your wellbeing when you’re working from home, the routines you follow and the equipment you use. This new direction opened up many exciting possibilities for us. Our @home designers started to think about wellbeing in every room of the house and every facet of your life. Creating your sanctuary that is safe and at home,” said Shani Naidoo, TFG Group director.

The trend of wellbeing has revolutionised customer shopping behaviour from filling baskets with functional merchandise to transparently expressing intent and a new way of life – expressions of creating calm home environments, decluttering spaces and practising mindfulness in supporting local trade. @home has since bolstered its local supply chain by increasing orders with local suppliers and in the process securing local jobs at a very trying time. The brand’s local merchandise offering has grown in a number of product categories such as in bedding, mattresses, furniture, coffee, cooking ingredients, home fragrances and bath and body products.

Growing local changes lives

The new direction of wellbeing led the @home design team to develop a Simply Stored range and procure The Home Edit; both of these ranges are centred on organising one’s life. The more organised you are, the less cluttered your life is, the less stressed you should be. A great advantage that the team found while developing the Simply Stored range is that some of the items could be made locally, and where that was not the case, the @home team has been able to work with local partners to acquire the items needed to complete the collection.

Proudly SA items can be found throughout @home, from Egyptian cotton linen, to duvet inners, to self-care products to mattresses, selected couches, to home, office and outdoor furniture ranges.

In an effort to revive the SA textile industry @home have collaborated with a leading local manufacturer of fine woven and warp knitted home furnishings fabrics for a variety of products, including cushions. They are working with a company that employs up to 300 people, many who have more than 30 years’ service. Simultaneously, some are representatives of second and even third-generation family members who have developed their skills in the business.

Natural feather and down and synthetic duvets and pillows are produced locally in Cape Town by a family-run company that its founding director and his family still run. Now employing over 200 South Africans, most of their 30 original staff have stayed and continue to produce the same high-quality goods responsible for their success over the years. All fillings are processed to exceed international standards.

@home’s Egyptian cotton bedding, across all thread counts, is manufactured locally in the Western Cape. This superior quality product comes from the hands of 373 female employees working as machinists, spreaders, cutters, folders and production supervisors, ensuring the best quality finished product gets to you. At least 81% of the female staff are the breadwinners for their immediate and extended families.

@home’s 100% cotton everyday towels, the Zero Twist and Ribbed Cotton ranges, are made by a well-established local towelling manufacturer synonymous with quality and durability. The company has long focused on maintaining sustainable value chains within the industry.

“Magnificent Barista Boys is one of my favourite local stories. What started as collaboration with two young entrepreneurs has developed into a business partnership. The @home team worked with the duo to develop a sustainable business from the ground up and are selling exclusively to @home. Magnificent Barista Boys started selling only two varieties of coffee beans, growing to 17 active lines selling on average 1000 units a week in-store and online. This is the power of localisation, driving sustainable economic growth for all,” concluded Naidoo.

About TFG:

With 31 retail brands that trade in fashion, value, jewellery, accessories, sporting apparel, cellular, homeware and furniture, TFG is one of the leading retail groups in South Africa. Besides South Africa, TFG Africa also has a presence in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini through various retail brands. TFG first entered the UK market through the acquisition of the premium womenswear brand Phase Eight in 2015, followed by the acquisition of Whistles in 2016 and Hobbs in 2017. TFG’s presence in the Australian market was strengthened through its acquisition in July 2017 of Retail Apparel Group Pty Ltd (RAG), a leading Australian menswear apparel retailer. TFG’s vision is to be the leading fashion lifestyle retailer in Africa whilst growing its international footprint. TFG has over 4,300 outlets in 31 countries, and employs more than 34,500 people with over 26,3 million customers (RSA).