In a major scoop for the Aussie gift and homewares industry, Independence Studios (IS) and Albi are merging to form a new venture, IsAlbi.
With the combined forces, IsAlbi will be an unrivalled powerhouse in the gifting and homewares sector, says CEO Ian Hardy.
“Our mission is to be a one-stop shop for customers looking to stock the best, brightest and most appealing products,” he says.
The merger is happening for three key reasons―to be stronger, bigger and better, says Hardy.
“By bringing Independence Studios and Albi together, we are combining the best qualities of both companies. We’ll be offering a wider range of products, better logistical support and an improved online experience.
“It’s almost a year now since this process began and what a year it has been. Floods, bushfires and a global pandemic haven’t stopped us.”
Even though IS is based in Sydney and Albi in Melbourne, Hardy says this actually allows the company to have broad reaching access to its client base and a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the fast-moving retail sector.
“However, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that workplaces are mobile―our team is only an email, text message or phone call away. And like any good sports team, we’ve got great players in every position. As CEO, I am supported by excellent staff in every department, from sales to product development, finance, marketing logistics and front of house.”
Indeed, you won’t see much change at all until the two teams officially join forces in the first half of 2021.
“We’re using this year to build the foundations. It’s so important that we have a state-of-the-art software and accounts system. We’re currently putting the final touches on the new/updated programs. I am confident our redesigned ERP system and new website will be a game-changer. The user experience is a priority for us and our focus is on the fast turn-around time of orders, better management of stock levels and more seamless logistics.”
So for now it is business as usual says Hardy, as they continue to develop and deliver improvements in the way they do business.
“IS and Albi founders, James Smail and David Danziger, spent decades setting solid foundations for both businesses. We’re excited to be joining forces, combining the knowledge and know-how of both companies.
“James and David may have stepped away from the steering wheel, but they set a path to success which we look forward to continuing along. I was fortunate enough to have been business partners with James for more than two decades, and I can confidently say that our mission is still the same. Good products―great people―sensational service,” Hardy adds.