Following a meeting with the CEO of Lords Group, Shanker Patel, and Worth Retail's CEO, Alex Johns, Worth was appointed to accelerate Lords in the UK homewares market. The brand was already in a good place with 5 stores opened and several more recently acquired in affluent London locations such as St John’s Wood and Hampstead. Lords' ambition was to compete head-on with the most popular homewares retailers, all of which differentiated themselves by having fast-growing omnichannel solutions. To position Lords amongst the biggest and the best, the brand required a true turnaround of their brand, stores, online presence, operational activity and staffing. Worth Retail tackled the entire project, turning Lords into an internationally acclaimed homewares retailer within 6 months.
“A chance meeting with Alex (Worth Retail's CEO) turned into a wonderful journey with our brand going from good to great. I would have no hesitation in recommending Worth to anyone who wants to achieve their dreams of greatness.”
Our strategy was to create a new, premium version of the Lords brand, create more customer-focused stores, improve its digital offering and streamline all retail operations. We began by carrying out a thorough brand audit and in-depth consumer research to find out how Lords could cut-through in a highly competitive and crowded homewares market. Working closely with the brand's executive team, we established a new strategy and a future direction for the business.
Our research showed that Lords’ typical customers wanted to shop in local stores that offered premium shopping experiences on their doorstep. In light of these findings, the new ‘Lords At Home With Quality’ brand was born, emphasising its commitment to locality and excellence. After establishing a new brand identity, we created a logo, typography, tone-of-voice and photography style, embedding these into a new set of brand guidelines.
Following a successful rebrand, Worth worked closely with Lords' executive team to design and build 3 newly acquired stores. Given the new brand's commitment to community and locality, each store was designed to both represent the brand but also blend with its local surroundings, often retaining aspects such as unique building characteristics and fragments of local history. In 6 months, Worth Retail designed and built 3 stores including a 1,000sqft St John's Wood boutique, 750sqft Hampstead Village high street shop and a 5,500sqft Chorleywood out-of-town store.
During the design analysis process, Worth Retail completed an investigation of each space. It was vital that we could remove some of the existing interior features to create open plan spaces and allow customers to move freely between the shelves of products. We also carried out feasibility studies for each store, considering aspects such as potential customer numbers, sales per square foot and overall return-on-investment.
Carrying out extensive research into the local communities allowed us to get to the heart of each location. Worth Retail chaired multiple community meetings and focus groups to gauge opinions from potential future customers and encouraged them to influence the new store designs. Not only did this provide us with invaluable insights into customer expectations, it also allowed us to introduce the new Lords brand to key local audiences.
To help Lords' executive team visualise the new store designs, Worth Retail produced both 2D and 3D floor plans, illustrating the new store layouts, consumer journeys and product categorisations. Each plan was carefully tailored to the needs of the different stores and designed to maximise conversion as well as consumer footfall.
Worth Retail took the lead on all planning and permissions processes, which allowed us to manage the individual store builds in a holistic way. We also acquired all of the necessary Council and advertising permissions, produced the required technical drawings and managed the planners on a daily basis.
Working closely with our approved contractors, we were able to realise each store design within a 6 week build programme. Worth Retail project managed each store build in-house, providing the most cost-effective, efficient and high-standard solutions for Lords.
To unveil the new Lords At Home brand alongside the new store in St. Johns Wood, we delivered an integrated advertising campaign. By using a mixture of outdoor advertising, targeted print, online media and an official in-store launch party, we successfully raised awareness of Lords amongst its new St John's Wood community.
To elevate Lords’ online offer, Worth Retail completely redesigned Lords' e-commerce site and established a new, responsive platform, linked to stock levels and social media platforms. We secured the lordsathome.com domain to reflect the new brand and introduced new product categories to make the site more intuitive and shopper-friendly. Following the relaunch of the site, Worth Retail developed and activated Lords' new social media strategy and online advertising.
Following the launch, we continued to work closely with Lords to restructure their workforce, taking an analytical approach to their current and future business needs. Given the brand’s commitment to community, we retained all existing staff, trained them on the Lords brand ethos and only recruited new members of staff from the relevant localities. We have established a long-term partnership with the Lords Group, and we will continue our work together in 2017. Watch this space!