Kids Emporium was founded in 2002 by Lauren de Swardt. She who owned and managed the first store in Greenpoint.
When pregnant with her daughter, Lauren found it hard to source good maternity, nursery décor and baby products. After a lot of research she developed a furniture range that was very well received however there was no platform to showcase the furniture. Lauren started meeting like minded individuals who manufactured beautiful rnages but had no place to bring it all together under one roof. She decided to team all the ranges together under one roof and that is how Kids Emporium was born. Lauren was 22 at the time.
In Lauren's own words:
‘I managed to source 24 suppliers that all made unique and affordable products, and the response was phenomenal, with people coming from Hermanus and Johannesburg to look at my selection. When I installed the very first sign, I made a promise to this industry that not only would we provide the market with affordable parenting solutions but we would also back it with good customer service. This combination has driven our brand and it allowed it to grow in the South African market. 12 years down the line, I am as excited as I was when I installed that first sign and happy to report that we have 20 stores affording the market with variety, affordable quality and a good service.
PASSION FOR THE BRAND
Our head office is based in Cape Town where we have a dynamic team that eat, sleep and breathe our brand. Their passion is undeniable and we are the typical ‘family run’ business, just without the actual family.
The industry is seeing some really innovative and simply gorgeous products at the moment. Kids Emporium is often the first port of call for new products hence we have had great fun implementing new and exciting ranges in stores across the country. This backed with a good service always tends to pull a crowd.
Our much awaited online store is set to launch mid December. We are very excited about this platform and look forward to servicing customers in outer lying areas. The site is looking great and we look forward to growing it over time.
Our goal here is to ensure we meet the needs of our customers in outer lying areas and also to be able to service full ranges to market. As stores are only a certain size, they are not always able to carry a full range of a product, perhaps in colour or size. To avoid a disappointed customer, stores will work with our online store to ensure needs are met.
UNIQUE SELLING POINTS AND QUALITY STANDARDS WHEN CONSIDERING A NEW PRODUCT
At Kids Emporium head office, we see anything and everything. In fact one of our goals in our office is to never turn away a meeting. We believe there to be opportunity in everything and have found some real treasures by chance. When evaluating a product, we consider a number of key aspects with the three main being: innovation, quality and affordability. Furthermore we consider the service level of the distributor or creator, their goals for the product and their positioning in the market. We look at market fit, potential threats or weaknesses and we consider its general fit within our brand. We are big supporters of local manufacturers as well as ‘mompreneurs’ and even if we do not choose to list a range, we hope the creator leaves our doors with something special. Being an entrepreneur, I am always keen to share industry knowledge and work with other creatives to achieve their goals.
PRODUCTS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SHOW CASING THIS SUMMER
Kids Emporium has launched a number of new ranges in store. Innovative toys that are durable, fun and simply clever and allowing both parents and kids to enjoy. 2015 is going to be a year of change in our industry. Products are reaching new levels of innovation and quality and we are seeing some big internationals coming to South Africa which is very exciting for our brand. And to really add to the excitement, Kids Emporium, teamed with industry experts will be launching Kids Emporium Maternity and Linen Ranges.