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Adairs joins online furniture race

Homewares and linen retailer Adairs has expanded the range of products it sells online to include large items of furniture.

The new category includes chairs, bedheads, ottomans, benches, tables and shelves, which have been available in Adairs’ bricks-and-mortar stores for some time already.

With its entire inventory now available online, the retailer aims to capture customers from the consideration stage of their journey all the way through to purchase.

“Customers were expecting to see the same range online that they saw in stores,” Utadi Murphy, Adairs’ general manager of e-commerce, told Internet Retailing.

“We wanted to make sure we could offer that.”

This meant not only adding a category to the website navigation, but also setting up different ways for customers to shop the collection, including through inspirational content.

“We developed the furniture lookbook which is far more inspiration-based. It all comes back to what we’re trying to do at Adairs, which is inspire creativity throughout the home,” Murphy said.

On the other end of the buying journey, Murphy said Adairs has partnered with a range of logistics suppliers to support the delivery of large and bulky items.

“It’s a fairly bespoke internal set-up,” he said. The launch of Adairs’ furniture category online has been in the works for about six months.

The retailer replatformed its website in late 2016 in preparation for several omnichannel initiatives set to launch this year.

In addition to making the site more mobile-friendly, the replatforming improved integration with Adairs’ backend ERP system.

Murphy would not disclose any details about the upcoming initiatives, but said Adairs’ has gained a real-time view of inventory across its stores and distribution centres.

Online sales represent just over eight per cent of the retailers’ total business, a figure Murphy expects to rise as Adairs opens more stores and continues to invest in omnichannel.

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