2021: The Warehouse Group (TWG) – which owns office products retailer Warehouse Stationery – underwent a management shake-up at the beginning of 2020, which saw the elimination of the CEO position at Warehouse Stationery.
As a result, then CEO Pejman Okhovat was moved into the position of Group COO at TWG, reporting to Group CEO Nick Grayston. Okhovat subsequently left the group at the beginning of 2021.
Grayston, who was appointed in 2016, has a long history in retail, including leadership stints at Sears and Foot Locker in the US, and merchandising roles in the UK at Laura Ashley, Debenhams and Marks and Spencer.
Under Grayston, TWG is busy on its journey to build what it calls “a customer-centric ecosystem”. This strategy is designed to wrap customer experiences around three unified enablers: people, platforms and data. The company is focused on making the shopping experience easy and seamless, whether through physical stores or e-commerce.
Warehouse Stationery is formed of standalone stores/business hubs and store-within-a-store (swas) integrations with sister retailer The Warehouse. As of May 2021, there were 71 outlets including 24 swas, with a target of 40-45 swas over the next few years. TWG said the next integrations will be in conjunction with The Warehouse refit programme, which is to recommence from FY22, with five stores already approved.
Warehouse Stationery has benefited from the appetite to work-from-home which is reflected in sales growth in office consumables and furniture. In the six months to the end of January 2021, online sales saw a significant growth of 31% year on year, while click & collect sales jumped by a tremendous 230%.
In the most recent quarterly results, the division recorded revenue of A$71.8 million (US$53.2 million), up 0.4% on Q3 2019 – a clearer comparison than against Q3 2020, which was strongly affected by disruption to operations and store closures caused by COVID-19. There were strong category sales in print & consumables, stationery, and office furniture.