Becoming a franchisor, Business planning, Finance, Growth, How I did it

Matchbox wins global innovation award – five things you can learn

Michelle Hammond /

Kitchenware and cookware retailer Matchbox has been named the Australian winner of the 2012 Global Innovation Award, recognised for its design and franchising model.

 

Matchbox – which has more than 25 stores in Victoria, Queensland and WA – stocks a range of specialist kitchenware products from brands including Lavazza, Jamie Oliver and Scanpan.

 

After being named the Australian winner of the 2012 Global Innovation Award (GIA), a Matchbox representative travelled to Chicago for the International Home + Housewares Show.

 

GIA is the leading housewares industry awards program, covering the industry as a whole – both retailers and manufacturers or designers – worldwide.

 

The International Home + Housewares Show is one of the organisers and global sponsors of the GIA award programs, along with the International Housewares Association.

 

Matchbox managing director David Cohen attended the awards ceremony in Chicago, where his company finished in the top 20 for excellent homeware retailing.

 

The company was recognised for its marketing and promotions, loyalty program, store design, eCommerce activities, staff training and franchising model.

 

According to Cohen, the award pays homage to the company’s hard work over the past year.

 

“We continue to be very proud of our business operation and growth as a franchise,” he said in a statement.

 

Here are a few key components of Matchbox’s business strategy:

 

Marketing and promotions

 

“Like any good organisation [our marketing and promotions] are always under review,” marketing manager Jordy Rowcroft told StartupSmart.

 

“It’s really about looking at retail trends… Ultimately, we sell great products. By default, that hooks people. Our product range is what people are really interested in.”

 

Loyalty program

 

The Matchbox loyalty program is known as the Secret Cooking Club. Every time members spend $500 in store, they receive a $25 voucher, which is loaded onto their membership card.

 

If members wish to check how far they are from earning a voucher, they’re encouraged to ask staff in-store.

 

Members are also kept up to date on the latest Matchbox offers, as well as product and cooking demonstrations in-store.

 

Store design

 

Matchbox prides itself on being an independent, family-owned retailer, promising to do “much more” than simply supply cookware and kitchenware. This mantra extends to store design.

 

“We are focused on turning our customers into professional home cooks through a fun and engaging in-store experience,” Matchbox says on its website.

 

“Our new Matchbox stores even have inbuilt kitchens for cooking demonstrations and cooking classes”.

 

eCommerce

 

“We have an online store and we actually re-launched the site late last year. Essentially it’s an extension of our current bricks-and-mortar retailer offering, whereby we sell the product ranges we do in-store,” Rowcroft says.

 

“We really wanted it to become customer-friendly… It’s about making things as efficient and easy as possible, so the products are right there to look at.”

 

Franchising model

 

With franchises available across the country, Matchbox says its franchise group has grown 144% in stores over the past three years.

 

In 2010, the company’s group turnover was more than $30 million, up 150% over the previous three years. Matchbox has a national expansion plan to hit 60 stores in the next five years.

 

“We are clearly carving out a solid position in our market,” it says.

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