Clicking into world trends for homeware

DREAM JOB: Jeanne Branquinho, homeware buyer for Clicks. © Unknown.
DREAM JOB: Jeanne Branquinho, homeware buyer for Clicks. © Unknown.


What do you love most about your job?

I have a passion for Homeware and love that I am able to source and buy products from all over the world for Clicks Bathroom and Kitchenware.

It is just so rewarding when customers love the ranges you buy for stores.

Do you have a background ininterior design?

No, I actually have a background in clothing and studied in that field. There is a large correlation, though, between homeware and clothing trends.

Homeware colour and fabric trends are largely influenced by clothing fashion trends. Now that I am in homeware I don't think I will ever go back to the clothing fashion environment.

What is the most difficultaspect of your job?

Buying products from foreign suppliers, especially from the East.

There is just so much that can go wrong from product development to delivery to our warehouses. For example there might be storms at sea or factories might have flooded. Even port congestion plays a role.

We also have to deal with language barriers and we largely communicate via e-mail. It's amazing how the information we send can be misinterpreted.

It's sometimes frustrating, but at the same time very rewarding when products arrive perfect in our stores and we get positive feedback from our customers.

Do trends in bathroom and kitchenware change quite a lot or do they remain fairly constant?

Trends in bathroom and kitchenware remain fairly static compared with dining and decorative trends.

This is mostly due to the function of products in the kitchen and bathroom. You will always require a whisk, but subtle changes might be in the form of the handle by adding a soft touch finish or a fashion colour.

In bathrooms there are always new updates on fabric colours, textures and constant innovation on sponges and pampering products.

What is the most useful Clicks kitchenware item that you personally own?

Our three-piece chopping mats. They are so easy to use and clean, and at R19,99 for a set, they truly are great value for money.

Do you travel at all aspart of your job?

I travel to the East three times a year to visit Homeware fairs and factories to source and develop new items.

I also travel to Europe once a year to visit a Homeware fair and prominent retail stores to look at overseas homeware trends, products and colours and to find inspiration.

Where is the largest bathroom and kitchenware expo in the world?

The Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China.

Are most Clicks products produced locally or do you import from other countries?

Different departments are made up of different supply bases.

In Homeware the largest part of our products are imported from China, Taiwan, India and European Union countries.

Name one of your best sellers. Why do you think that thisitem is popular?

Our Clicks Home 10-piece board and knife set. This is a 10-piece knife set with a large wooden chopping board.

The item is only costs R129,99 and is absolutely amazing value and brilliant quality.

How often do you changethe products on sale?

We have replenishment ranges in stores that we offer to our customers throughout the year on good solid basic items.

We also introduce new colour palettes with updated trends and goodies every season. On top of this we also offer newness with an extra input of a "coffee statement" in winter and a fun "Baking Story" in summer.

Do you ever get left with items that just don't sell? If so, what does Clicks do with them?

Yes, from time to time we do have an item that just does not sell.

In a case like that we usually do an in- store promotion to try and clear the stock and if that does not work we eventually mark it down permanently for clearance.