Homeware retail stores seem to be soaring; a variety of sizes but still maintaining good momentum are the out-of-town retail outlet large store formats, and small high street-sized stores with brands such as Zara Home, MUJI, H&M Home and IKEA. It’s still a surprise to know all Habitat standalone stores are now gone!
In terms of curb-appeal, interior design, using sustainable materials and integrating more intuitive elements of customer experience, we explore the top 10 homeware retail stores that we think are excelling at the moment.
- Zara Home – hues of their classic beige and subtle lighting, the product seems packed in but it’s a treasure trove for deals! The range has great breadth for any homemaker and the store allow floor to ceiling shelves, island displays and table tops as well as rails of PJs. A huge success for the Zara brand, yet again. Go see their new store in Battersea!
- Oliver Bonas – their stores are always colourful and eclectic, bold and enticing. They usually offer small room layouts in their windows and varying heights of product display throughout. They also have a very good website and app.
- John Lewis – a struggling brand that’s for sure – but their place for being reliable and good quality prevails. Their stores are designed on customer experience from a layout point of view and now have a lot more personalisation in-store and services available (curtain, blind making).
- King Living – luxury, comfortable and larger room settings for this Australian retailer at their Tottenham Court Road store. This being their European flagship has a paired back design but the curb appeal is very strong down to its relaxed environment and obvious quality product range. And, it was designed by Barber.
- Bolia (in Denmark) has a focus on Scandinavian design, their stores reflecting a minimalist and modern aesthetic. They also allow customization of their own pieces online.
- The Conran Shop is a British institution for design-led homeware. The stores are meticulously curated, emphasising the quality and quirkiness of the brand and you can tour their stores online too which is pretty cool.
- Leroy Merlin (in France) is a French home improvement and homeware retailer. Their stores are designed to provide a full customer experience including interactive workshops and DIY Zones. They also offer tools on their site to help customers plan and visualise their home improvement projects.
- Bang & Olufsen are classic retailers but always have a simple store design allowing the emphasis to always remain on the product. It’s a fun space for grown ups into their music and quality speaker systems.
- Restoration Hardware – synonymous with luxury and elegance. Their stores are designed as grand galleries filled with stunning lighting and boasting high ceilings. They have touch screens throughout their store environment for customers to brown the catalog and customise furniture pieces.
- Muji – simple yet functional. Everyone loves Muji. Their home organisation systems and oil diffusers are every household’s staple. The minimalistic yet very curated smart stores hold a lot of stock and they’re relaxing places to be when escaping a busy high street.
What are your Top 10 homeware stores? We wanted to offer a broad selection from the States to across Europe as as designers we draw our inspiration from everywhere. The integration of tech is still a bit wobbly in retail interiors, but more and more it’s becoming more intuitive than pointless and clunky, and helping customers make homeware choices enabling a vision to come to life is paramount to all the examples we’ve noted.