The Home Retail Group owned business revealed earlier today (13 March) sales jumped 6.9 per cent to £203m in the eight weeks to March. Homebase credited “ahead of the market” growth in both online and reserve-and-collect sales for the upturn.
It is developing two apps to continue the trend. A retail app will launch for smartphone users allowing them to scan barcodes on plants in-store to access additional information, while a tablet service will offer more magazine-style content on how to decorate homes.
Elsewhere, Homebase will expand the number of deals it runs through its co-buying initiative. The DIY business is offering discounts of up to 50 per cent on home appliances through social commerce platform Buyapowa. It is the second retailer after Tesco to use the initiative, which encourages customers to get their friends to sign up to specific promotions in order to reduce the final price.
The changes are backed by a revamp of the company’s site in the coming months to incorporate better search functionality as well as deliver deeper insight on how customers use the site and their party to choice. It will also support plans to increase the 15,000 products Homebase currently sells online that can be delivered either to homes or stores on a next day or name-day basis.
Homebase is also planning updates to its recently launched Ebay store alongside the development of a marketing plan for its profile on social network Pinterest.
Jo Kenrick, marketing director at Homebase, says investment in digital will be matched by the changes to its store formats. Some 12 stores have been updated so far costing around £1m per refit, however, each one now generates 20 per cent extra in terms of turnover, she adds.
Kenrick says the company is also planning to target more of its Nectar customers to increase in-store traffic throughout the year.
“We know that two thirds of our sales are from customers with a Nectar card so redeeming with us is something we’re keen to encourage. We’ve found that those customers that do, normally visit Homebase one extra time versus the previous year”, she adds.
The flurry of investment is borne from changes to the brand’s marketing strategy. Earlier this month, it launched a marketing push to move away from the “transforming spaces on an epic scale” theme it has run for the last five years to promote the personal changes people can make to create a home ‘they love”.