British online homewares brand Loaf will open its first store tomorrow. The 8000 sqft retail destination – called the Loaf Shack – is located on Queenstown Road in Battersea, London.
Having started out with an offering of just 12 beds and one mattress in 2008, today Loaf covers the entire home, posting sales of £27m (including VAT) for 2014/15. This retail expansion for one of the UK’s fastest-growing companies (according to the Sunday Times Fast Track 100) is hoped to help achieve forecasted sales of £100m over the next few years.
Founder Charlie Marshall made it his mission to open “the most laid-back store in Britain” – so much so that the new space is being described as “a slowroom, not a showroom”.
On his migration to multi-channel retail, Charlie comments: “Our aim has been to make shopping for furniture online as simple and as hassle-free as possible. But there are still a large number of customers that want to see and touch the product before they buy. To respond to that demand we’ve created a seriously beautiful bells and whistles store that we’ve filled with things to make people smile.”
The store features designated chill-out areas, a children's corner, and a traditional-style ice cream parlour.
Along with its Derbyshire-made beds and sofas, for the first time Loaf will offer a collection of takeaway gifts and accessories including organic candles, bath scents, tableware and cashmere blankets.
The new store will run alongside Loaf.com, and aims to give customers an enriched customer journey. “Our main focus right now is on getting the brand magic absolutely spot on," says Charlie. "Our move to bricks and clicks is all about reaffirming our core values and giving customers a fantastic shopping experience.”
There are plans to roll out a further 10 Loaf Shacks in the next few years.