Homebase publishes an interview with its Director of Trade for Home, Nina Findley
Can you give us an overview of your role and responsibility within Homebase?
My role centres around ensuring Homebase is creating and developing the best possible home product range for our customers. This means I spend a lot of time thinking about what our customers are going to want next and ensuring we’re sourcing the best possible products to meet that need. Another big part of my role is working closely with The Hut Group on our digital transformation project, which will see us deliver an incredible new website for customers in the coming months and years.
What does a typical day look like?
There’s no typical day – and that’s just the way I like it. I really enjoy the fact my role at Homebase is so varied, it keeps me excited and engaged.
While no two days look the same, there are some similarities. I spend time each day reviewing performance figures across everything from sales and margins to social media engagement and website dwell times. It’s all about getting a rounded picture of our customers and how they’re shopping with us.
Having this detailed level of understanding then allows me to go into meetings that could be about something as broad as our entire product strategy for the year ahead, or as specific as colour options on a cushion, with a strong idea of what our customers want.
Tell us something that might surprise us about your day job?
My role goes way beyond the home and into how customers interact with Homebase as a retailer. The work we’re doing with The Hut Group is going to transform our digital offering and I can’t wait for our customers to be able to experience it.
What are your top three priorities for the year ahead in your role at Homebase?
- Range development– I want us to continue pushing to create new ranges that our customers love.
- I want us to continue pushing to create new ranges that our customers love.– I want the digital experience for our customers to be seamless. So, from when they first interact with us on social media, all the way through to purchase and beyond, they feel like we’re with them every step of the way.
- Our new partnership with Hearst– at the end of last year we announced we had signed a deal with Hearst to partner with its House Beautiful, Country Living and Good Housekeeping brands to create a new range of on-trend household and lifestyle products. The ranges are looking fantastic and there is lots more to come that I think customers are going to really enjoy.
What trends will shape homes and interiors within 2021?
Last year saw the relationship many people have with their homes change immeasurably – moving from a place we simply sleep and eat to our homes becoming offices, schools, gyms, and a whole lot more.
With restrictions still in place, we expect trends that support our homes being multifunctional spaces to continue. This year, we have already seen significant year-on-year increases in sales and searches for storage solutions and innovative products that help organise our homes better.
We’ve also seen a blurring of homes and gardens last year, as people look to buy furniture in particular, that can be easily moved and works in either spaces.
Finally, last year saw fashion focussed products, such as the occasional chair, really flourish. People look to these products as a ‘-treat’ – something they buy for their home as a little gift to themselves. With all of us spending much more time in, we’re treating ourselves through our homes, whereas previously we might have spent the same money on a new item of clothing or meal out.
What one word would describe your leadership style, and why is that important to you?
Empowering – I want to make my team’s life easier and empower them to do the great work I know they are capable of.
Has there been a moment / book / person that has fundamentally changed how you approach business and leadership?
Earlier in my career I had boss who had a huge impact on the way I work. He taught me the importance of humility and saying “I don’t know” sometimes.
I think authenticity is so important in leadership, especially as a female leader. We need to work hard to show people that leaders don’t just come in one shape and size and talk in a certain way. Leaders can be completely different in their approach but equally effective, providing they are authentic.
Tell us about your latest home project?
I’m actually in the process of moving to a new house, so have a rather large project on my hands!
What is your favourite item from the Homebase range?
The Sophia Scallop Occasional Chair in Emerald Green. There will definitely be at least one in my new house.