Melbourne retailer's new store focuses on local brands

In a climate where the retail industry has become increasingly hard to survive, gift and souvenir retailer Spoilt Gift & Homewares has gone from strength to strength and recently opened its eighth store.

Since its launch in 2005, the retailer has expanded from a single, bricks and mortar store to a chain across Melbourne as well as an online business.

Founder Chelsea McIntosh says she found a gap in the market when it came to tourists.

“Running a retail business for over 10 years I have seen the industry change,” she explains.

“Many souvenir stores have fairly generic products and we found our customers commonly asking for Australian and Melbourne souvenirs to send overseas to friends and family that were a bit more unique and special than what they had seen elsewhere.

“With so many visitors coming from all over the world and from interstate to Melbourne, I could see the potential for my business to really hone in on this market and provide beautiful products for them to take back home with them as gifts.

“This has been a focus when opening our eighth store, especially given its location. The majority of our stores are based in office towers, whereas this one is right on the door step of Bourke Street Mall, where many tourists and visitors shop.”

Honing in on consumers’ desire for all things local, the new store has a strong focus on Australian made and designed products.

“We’ve always stocked a lot of products designed by Australian businesses, now we’re putting even more of a focus on this, as well as sourcing products that are made here in Australia too,” adds McIntosh.

“I think it is very important to support local businesses. We work closely with many of our suppliers to be able to provide souvenirs and products that are a little bit different. Some of the Australian brands we stock are Urban Rituelle, FlatOut Bear, Freckleberry, Willlow TreeLane, Tooletries and we recently added Couchmate, which is proudly Australian made.

“We’re also very aware of the environmental impact we have as a society, so we provide environmentally friendly products from local businesses such as HoneyBee Beeswax Wraps and Onya Bags.

“We also made the decision as a business earlier in the year to switch from plastic bags to reusable bags in all of our stores. We hope that making these changes and paying close attention to the changing market in Melbourne we will continue to grow and expand.”