KPS

Acquisition Opportunity

Houseology

Hilco Streambank is seeking offers to acquire the intellectual property behind disruptive premium homeware e-commerce platform Houseology.com.

BID DEADLINE

Thursday 13 February 2020 @ Noon GMT

Background

Stuart Robb and Michelle Elliot, both of Leonard Curtis Recovery Limited, as Joint Administrators of Houseology Design Group Limited (in Administration) ("Houseology" or "the Company") have appointed Hilco Streambank to actively seek interested parties with regards to the sale of the Company's intellectual property assets.

Since its incorporation in 2010, Houseology has been disrupting the traditional global furniture and homewares market.

Born out of an interior design practice, the Company is a leading pure-play online retailer of interior goods spanning a range of curated designer lighting, furniture, home accessories, cookware and outdoors products. Through its e-commerce platform, Houseology.com, the Company targeted both B2C business and trade clients in the UK and internationally.

Houseology specialised in supplying high-end third-party brands such as Eichholtz, Kartell and Heathfield & Co, as well as its own white-label offering, “The Houseology Collection”. A change in strategy in December 2016 concentrated on a move away from distributing a large volume of small gifting items and accessories to a focus on supplying a select range of designer furniture and lighting brands, targeted at Houseology’s key customer segments.

h website

Houseology has established long lasting relationships with its loyal customer following (c. 40% repeat revenue). The Company has also developed strong relationships with brand partners, architects and designers.

Significant investment has been made in building the well-known, highly regarded Houseology brand and the Company’s dynamic e-commerce platform.

This acquisition opportunity offers the buyer the opportunity to enter or expand in the lucrative UK and international e-commerce market and take advantage of growth in the sector. Revenue from the UK Online Home Furnishings market is anticipated to increase at a compound annual rate of 9.5% over the five-year period to 2023-2024, to reach £3.1 billion. [Source: IBIS World Industry Report UK0.024 Online Home Furnishing Retailing in the UK (2018)]. In 2018, the Furniture & Homeware B2C e-commerce market generated $199.9 billion globally and has a predicted growth rate of 11.1% ($210.9 billion) by 2023. [Source: Statista Digital Market Outlook 2019].

Houseology 1

Available Assets

Houseology Brand

The Houseology brand is well-known and highly-regarded.

Houseology has been featured in a variety of publications including the Times, the Guardian, Trend Bible and Grazia. The Times named the brand as having what was thought to be “Britain’s largest online range of designer furniture and homeware”.

In addition to the press, Houseology is coveted by a variety of social media influencers, interiors bloggers and customers. Houseology has been featured on a number of popular interiors blogs, including The Ordinary Lovely, StylonNylon and Making Spaces.

Houseology has been nominated for a number of awards, including the Best of Houzz awards in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and it was a finalist in the Digitech awards as well as for the Paypal Etail Best Pure Play Small Etailer award, reflecting the high calibre of the Company’s website.

Houseology is a trusted e-commerce retailer with a Trust Pilot rating of 4.1, which is classed as “Great” and stands out in the online furniture market. Central to the Company’s offering has been ensuring consistent delivery of excellent customer service.

Houseology has aimed to differentiate itself via the breadth and uniqueness of designer and luxury brands offered through the website as well as by the ease of search and discovery for customers in identifying new products.

Houseology’s goal was to demystify the design process and make sourcing and choosing designer products for the home both easy and enjoyable. Its mission has been to help customers create amazing designer spaces for their budget whilst realising its vision to disrupt this space by building a global, cross sector platform that creates a revolutionary experience for both customers and suppliers.

The brand and website have established a loyal customer following, particularly across the ‘City Prosperity’, ‘Prestige Positions’ and ‘Country Living’ customer profiles. In addition to consumers, Houseology supplies thousands of trade customers comprised of interior designers, property developers and hospitality business owners.

Trade Marks

The Houseology brand name and logos are protected by EU registered trade marks. The Company also owns registered trade marks in relation to “Oh! Design” and “Oh & Me”. A trade mark schedule is available to download.

Domain Names

The Company has a portfolio of attractive domain names including the high traffic branded houseology.com and houseology.co.uk domain names. Full list below:

  • houseology.co.uk
  • houseology.com
  • houseology.uk
  • myhouseology.com
  • myhouseology.uk
  • houseologytrade.co.uk
  • houseologytrade.com
  • tradeathouseology.co.uk
  • tradeathouseology.com
  • houseology-email.com
  • furniturescanner.co.uk
  • furniturescanner.com
  • theproductplatform.co.uk
  • theproductplatform.uk
  • theproductplatform.com

Website Content

The Company owns copyright in the content of the attractive, sophisticated Houseology.com e-commerce website.

Considerable investment has been made by the Company in recent years in the development and optimisation of the Houseology.com e-commerce platform. The Company’s website is unequalled within its segment.

The e-commerce website has generated annual revenues of over £4m for each of the last three financial years. Approximately 40% of e-commerce revenue is driven by repeat custom.

Optimisation of the customer journey and robust navigation directs customers quickly and effortlessly to the right place whilst also helping promote featured brands and products in a visually appealing way.

The website features a proprietary bespoke Product Finder tool and standalone Live Stock Feed application. The website incorporates a third party “Visual Search” function, which allows customers to upload an image and see similar items for sale. The “Visual Search” function allows for the search results to be narrowed by brand and price.

The Company has created a vast EAV database with digitalised data in relation to approximately 26,500 SKUs being available on the website in a well-structured manner.

The website also hosts the appealing “Houseology Masterclass” blog, which has a wide range of entries including buying guides, designer interviews, interior inspiration, professional advice and design know-how, and is likely to appeal to a wide target audience.

A dedicated portal for trade customers is a further feature of Houseology.com.

Houseology Website

Databases

The Company has an extensive well-segmented customer database containing over 53,000 overall customer records of which 6,658 are trade customers.

Social Media

The Houseology brand and website is supported by a strong social media presence

Stock

Stock may also be available to acquire.

Sales Process

Offers are due Thursday 13 February 2020 @ Noon GMT.

Please contact Hilco Streambank to gain access to further information. A Bid Submission Form is available. Please be aware that a buyer’s premium of 10% of the sale price is payable by the winning bidder.

For details of the related The Office Crowd intellectual property sale, see our further listing here

Key Terms & Conditions

The bidder acknowledges that Hilco acts as an agent for the Joint Administrators who offer for sale only what right, title and interest (if any) the Company possesses in the assets. The information provided has not been verified by Hilco or the Joint Administrators and bidders are deemed to have carried out their own due diligence.

VAT, if applicable, at 20% will be added to the price. A buyer’s premium of 10% applies to this sale. Legal completion to occur within 5 business days of bid acceptance. Hilco Streambank's full Terms and Conditions apply.

Contact Us

For further information please contact the following Hilco Streambank representatives:. 

Interested Parties

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