The Nest nurtures Coles Myer’s homewares offer

The Nest is to revamp Australian retailer Coles Myer’s homewares offer in a project believed to be worth over £250 000 in design fees.

Coles Myer is Australia’s largest retailer and has over 2000 outlets across grocery, clothing and department store formats. The Nest’s work will be applied across the retailer’s six Myer Grace Bros stores, a division of Coles Myer that has been struggling with weak winter sales performances.

The group’s shares crashed to a five-year low last week and Coles Myer chief executive John Fletcher says the key business challenge is ‘the turnaround of Myer Grace’.

The Nest’s work represents a complete reinvention of the homewares sales environment for the retailer, says The Nest chairman Alex Willcock.

‘Australia has great style, interesting architecture, interiors and bars, but the retail proposition doesn’t celebrate that. We want to bring an Australian aesthetic to [homewares] and will be looking at everything from colours and style to direction for products,’ he says.

The first phase of the project, which launches from next month, includes brand creation and style guides. The larger second phase will involve product design, range strategy and point-of-sale and communications material. Phase two launches in February 2003.

For phase one the consultancy has identified three key customer types and created eight themes, or brands, which customers can ‘dip into’, says Willcock.

‘The themes link to customer types and give customers the opportunity to buy into different lifestyles,’ he explains.

Willcock says the consultancy’s role involves working closely with the retailer’s product buying and design team and assisting at a senior creative level. The Nest was appointed earlier this year without a pitch, on the strength of previous work in the sector.

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