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Scottish Businessman Plans To Grow Australian Brand By 50M

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Successful Australian based speciality home retailing company, Howards Storage World, is branching out into the UK for the first time, after it awarded the Master Franchisee rights to a Scottish businessman.

The venture is set to create around 40 jobs within the first year, with future plans to open more than 50 stores across the UK in the next five years, generating a further 600 jobs and a projected turnover of approximately £50m.

More than £750K has been invested to bring the successful Australian brand to UK shoppers with the first store to open in The Centre, Livingston this October. Martin Brown (35) is MD of Howards Storage World UK and the majority shareholder.

First established in 1998, Howards Storage World - which promises to cater for every household storage need - has enjoyed a strong growth over the past decade with 64 stores in Australia and 18 others internationally, including New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Dubai and Ireland. The first stores in Belgium and the Philippines are also set to open in the coming weeks.

Martin, whose previous experience is in investment banking and IT sales, has ambitious growth plans and aims to bring the Australian winning formula to the UK.

He said: "Howards Storage World is one of the fastest growing brands in Australia, it has enjoyed a revenue growth of over 45% in the last three years.

"After following the company closely for some time, I am confident that, despite the current economic gloom, it will fill a gap in the UK market and the unique concept will be welcomed by customers.

"Howards' USP is its ability to offer a broad range of quality products, including own branded household items through to internationally renowned names complemented by an unrivalled customer service.  As a result, Howards Storage World is a one-stop-shop providing everything under one roof and will undoubtedly stand out from others in this market."

Martin, who hails from Addiewell in West Lothian, is joined by former Land Securities' leasing director, David Smith, whose previous role involved attracting major retail names to The Centre in Livingston.

The pair are confident their business expertise and The Centre's reputation as one of the top shopping destinations in Scotland will provide the perfect launch pad for Howards Storage World in the UK. 

Martin continues: "Both David and I know the area very well. Livingston is one of the fastest growing towns in Scotland and The Centre enjoys a strong retail offer attracting visitors from across the central belt therefore the decision to locate there was an easy one.

"Our store opening in October will be closely followed by the UK website launch (http://www.howardsstorageworld.co.uk/) providing the chance for customers across the UK to easily purchase our unique items."

Further details on franchise opportunities in the UK will be announced soon.




Notes to editors


About Martin Brown:


Martin has worked in IT sales for 11 years for some of the biggest firms in the business, including Computer Associates and Cisco. He was Sales Director at Cisco (2004 - 2007) before joining Investment Management Firm, AllianceBernstein (2007 - 2009) where he was Vice President.


Martin graduated from the University of Paisley in 1996 with a degree in economics and lives with his wife Lynne and two daughters, Eilidh and Millie in West Lothian.


About Howards Storage World:


  • Howards Storage World (HSW) is an Australian-based home storage franchise.
  • Formed in the 1970s, HSW started as a single shop called 'Stack and Store' in Sydney.
  • In 1997, Dirk Spence (CEO) identified the Australia-wide market potential to roll out the concept through franchising and evolved rapidly to open its first franchised store in 1998.
  • The company has now grown substantially to now offer 64 stores in Australia and 18 others internationally.
  • It is a unique concept that offers a wide range of innovative, essential household items where customers find storage and organisation solutions for all their needs.
  • HSW focuses on range, quality and service and offers world renowned brands such as Brabantia, simplehuman and Elfa through to Howards own branded items.
  • HSW has been recognised by the BRW as one of the top 10 fastest growing franchises in Australia.