French decoration chain Maisons du Monde has opened its 23rd Belgian store, in the centre of Antwerp. The retailer adds more services and brings the online world to the physical store.
Strengthening brand awareness
With 1500 square metres of sales area, this is the largest city centre store for the chain in Belgium, in a prime location. "We therefore consider this to be a real flagship store," says country manager Arielle Dupont. The store will strengthen the brand awareness of Maisons du Monde in Flanders. Moreover, by opening a new store in the midst of the corona crisis, the chain is confirming its ambitions in the country. "A large home furnishing store in the city centre is a great advantage for the city's residents," thinks regional manager Pieter Deduytsche. "People can come here to see and test all the products, and then have them delivered to their homes, without having to take their car to a job shop.
Maisons du Monde is adding more services in its stores. Customers can visit an advice corner in the basement, where they can browse trough the entire collection online, as well as view samples of the available fabrics and woods. Also new is a service that offers 3D style advice: the retailer took over startup Rhinov last year. Clients can send photos of their home and indicate their style preferences, and a team of interior architects provides interior advice in the form of photorealistic 3D views. "This can be done from as little as 99 euros per room. Soon, this service will also be coming to Belgium".
The corona crisis represents an opportunity for the interior design and decoration sector: consumers cannot travel and invest in their homes. Since the reopening after the lockdown, the Maisons du Monde stores have seen an increase in turnover of 18%. Online growth for the group was even 51%, with Belgium being one of the strongest risers. In the meantime, around 25% of the retailer's total turnover is already digital - in other words, from the webshop or from sales with tablets in the physical stores. The retailer is now also launching a marketplace with products from competitors that are not available in the Maisons du Monde range. "We intertwine online and offline and become a real omni-channel player".