South African entrepreneur Lauren de Swardt launched her well-known local franchise, Kids Emporium in Guildford, England in July 2016.
De Swardt lived in the UK for two years and remains a regular visitor. In 2015, she spent two weeks paying careful attention to the behaviour of the local market, just to get a feel for High Street shopping.
“I saw obvious gaps in the market, where there was a definite need for a brand such as Kids Emporium. The UK is certainly not short on baby boutiques, but I noticed that many of them stocked the same brands and often relied purely on those brands to make their businesses work. The difference with my business concept is that Kids Emporium provides shoppers with a good variety of brands from one access point, and is backed by excellent service,” says De Swardt.
De Swardt already has plans to open stores in a number of African countries, and is also looking at the United States and Australia as potential expansion locations. For now, though, the focus will apparently be on Africa and the UK.