The VilaSofa store in Amsterdam has managed to turn a warehouse into a modern day store with a twist.
The oversized cut-outs of dollhouse windows, chandeliers and romantic balconies are what give it such a surreal feel. This is a place where your furniture ‘lives’ before it gets to you. Quirky elements were also added to give the space a humorous feel.
Stickers, graphic walls and carpets with bold patterns give customers the chance to picture what the furniture would look like in their own homes while the picnic tables on the main floor of the store give families the chance to discuss and debate over their next purchase.
The store believes in providing their customers with a personalised service and a 48-hour delivery, which only adds to their appeal. Their mobile cash registers also ensure that you don’t even have to leave your new sofa to make the purchase.
VilaSofa is a mix between a conformist furniture store and an Ikea outlet. Multi-award-winning Tjep used materials such as plywood and combined them with high-end glossy surfaces.
Frank Tjepkema, owner of Tjep, aimed to add a little more energy, quality and amazement to furniture shopping and the world with this design.
Kingsley Heath’s Simple Recipe For Success
Kingsley Heath is an African-inspired high-end brand that emulates the luxury lodge experience. Its expansion plans include in-store profit partners. Do you have what they’re looking for?
Kingsley Heath’s recipe for success is simple: Excellent product; good location with access to the right target market; and a store manager who can create the right combination of a winning customer experience and detailed back-end support.
When Bruce Joubert took over the helm of the high-end retail clothing and footwear brand in 2012, he recognised the value of the product and how it was presented.
“At the time there was one niche store in De Waterkant, a trendy retail part of Cape Town’s foeshore area. We quickly worked out that the success of the brand is in its exceptional product, store locations and people.” Joubert has ambitious expansion plans, and he’s actively looking for individuals who will play a critical role in that growth.
“We’ve grown to seven stores nationally and five stores in the UAE, but this is just the beginning.” Our goal is to have 300 stores globally in the next five years.”
A winning model
“We don’t want to franchise the concept, but we do want to incentivise entrepreneurially-minded individuals to join the business on a profit share basis.
“The right business partner is essential to the overall success of a store. We’ve got a unique range of clothing, footwear and accessories. The Kingsley Heath brand is synonymous with African lifestyle, quality and luxury, and our customer experience permeates the store, emulating African 5-star lodges. But this will only take us so far. People are the differentiating factor between successful and exceptionally successful, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
Focused on growth
Joubert is specific about what he’s looking for: Ambitious individuals between the ages of 20 and 30 who want to take control of their earning potential, but don’t have the start-up capital to purchase a franchise.
“We are an established brand, so this is a great way to earn upwards of R60 000 a month, learn management and business skills from a successful operating team but also use your own initiative to drive sales,” he says.
Joubert’s team is highly ambitious, and they’re looking for like-minded individuals who want to grow with them. These international expansion plans include South African business partners. “This is an African brand, and we want to maintain our unique touch,” says Joubert.
“As we expand we will be offering first options to our local business partners who have proven themselves. The success of our growth plans will be influenced by the people in the business.”
Do you have what it takes?
- Are you a motivated self-starter eager to learn the ins and outs of retail, business, customer service and business management?
- Do you have the commitment necessary to work the long hours that retail demands?
- Are you willing to rely on your abilities to generate income through a profit share model?
- Are you driven to succeed within an established brand?
Email: BusinessPartners@kingsleyheath.co.za to request an application form.
Partnering with Kingsley Heath
William Klokie joined Kingsley Heath when he was 24 years old. For the past two years he has run the Gateway store in Durban, and has experienced enormous business and personal growth .
“It’s difficult to launch your own business in your early 20s,” says Klokie. “You don’t have the cash flow or the track record to secure a bank loan. Joining Kingsley Heath has been a tremendous opportunity.
“If you’re willing to work hard you have a very high earning potential, but more than that, you’re running a business within a business. The mentorship, coaching and support we receive is invaluable. I’m building an amazing skill set and CV for the future — with a track record that I can easily demonstrate.”
For Klokie, it’s been an empowering experience. Expectation is high, and he’s had to deliver, resulting in a personal growth journey that has leapfrogged
(Slideshow) Believe It or Not, Starbucks is Not Just About the Coffee
Must-see Starbucks store designs from around the world.
Since this iconic brand’s formation in 1971, Starbucks is now 20 000 stores strong so they must be doing something right. Even though their delicious coffees are part of many morning routines all over the world, each store has been given a unique design that is unlike the rest, making them the kinds of places you would want to pop into for breakfast, a business meeting or even some alone time.
Hungry? Urine Luck!
A look inside the urinal-turned-sandwich-shop.
Abandoned some fifty years ago, an old London restroom was destined to stay a rubbish strewn waste of space, until partners Peter Tomlinson and Ben Russell decided that it would be the ideal spot for a quaint sandwich shop.
With the removal of 12 layers of century old paint, some elbow grease and $150 000, the owners of Attendant managed to turn a smelly restroom into a funky lunchtime spot where sandwiches, cakes, breakfasts and espressos are served to hungry customers.
The wrought-iron entrance was spruced up but kept as close to its original look as possible. A small kitchen was fitted in the space below, along with a large counter where diners could be seated to enjoy their food. The green chairs were chosen to fit in with the original Victorian floor tiles.
The elegant porcelain finishes and warm lighting create a welcoming space for patrons without thoughts of where they are really sitting springing to mind.
Business is booming for Peter and Ben and it’s all because they took a chance on a simple idea and brought it to life in a unique space.
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