Joseph Joseph has opened its first subsidiary in Sydney, which marks a new chapter in the quirky UK kitchen brand’s Aussie venture.
The brand was previously available through Australian distributor Independence Studios (IS) and Richard Joseph, co-founder and CEO of Joseph Joseph, says the time has come to go it alone.
“We met IS 14 years ago and the company has done a great job,” Richard explains. “Australia is one of the first overseas markets we started selling and IS really got behind the brand. Our design philosophies are aligned and they understood what we were trying to achieve. It was a great partnership.
“The wonderful thing about Australia is its sensitivity to design and functional products. If a product was successful in the UK we knew it would be successful in Australia. If a product resonated because it solved a problem, it would do the same in Australia, so there is a great alignment between the two markets,” says Richard.
Export has always been a big part of Joseph Joseph’s strategy―it makes up about 80 per cent of the business. International markets are very important and there are a number of countries where it has gone direct in the market, opened an office, have a team in marketing and a warehouse. Now one of the world’s leading housewares brands, it has a global presence spanning over 100 countries
“It just made a lot of sense for us to open an Australian company and employ an Australian team to develop Joseph Joseph within the market. We feel there is a real opportunity here.”
While Richard iterates that IS did a great job for them for 14 years, the distributor had many other brands it represented.
“A Joseph Joseph branch means we can have 100 per cent focus on our customers. Not taking away from IS, but at the end of the day they have a number of brands they look after and there are only so many hours in the day.
“We have ambitions for Joseph Joseph to become a well-established housewares brand within the Australian market, so the natural progression is to have a dedicated team so you get that focus. We are already enjoying great momentum with the brand, so we are definitely not starting from scratch.”
He admits the challenge is working with and managing a team on the other side of the world.
“We have to grow our business to a certain size to be able to put a team into the market, to be able to open a warehouse and all the rest of it, but also get it to a size so it can run independently from the main business, just because of the practicalities of working with a team on the other side of the world on a day to day basis.
“So despite Covid and all the challenges, we are opening a business on the other side of the world and no one of the London office has visited the market,” he laughs. “Setting up a new business remotely is a first for us, but really exciting. We went live on 1 February.”
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