Talk about the town

Haven & Space Opens Second Store in Berry

03 Feb 2014

Berry’s hugely successful retailer opens a second shop in town.

One of Berry’s busiest retailers has recently opened a larger, second store directly across the road from their hugely successful existing store. For 18 years Haven and Space’s fascinating ‘curiosity shop’ of accessories and fun small homewares – glasses and tablewares, cushions, baskets, decorator accessories, picture frames and a wide range of irresistible household items – has attracted hundreds of customers from the local population as well as regular followers from Sydney and all the way down the South Coast.

The new, spacious shop has a much larger stock of furniture items and well-priced accessories to go with them, and the aim of the store is to suggest how various combinations of these can be successfully put together in a home.

The secret of Haven and Space’s success lies with the special talent of its owners – Barbara and Harvey Slatyer … Barbara’s eye for design and colour and her flare for sensing what will sell, plus the Slatyers’ willingness to back their hunches and buy a container load of goods, resulting in quality merchandise at bargain prices.

Operating since the mid 1970s as ‘Barbara’s House and Garden’, first on Sydney’s North Shore and then in many Sydney suburbs and ultimately franchised throughout Australia, their company became a household name for attractive wares at affordable prices. Caught out on the wrong side of a Swiss Franc loan that was pushed by their bank, the Slatyers entered voluntary bankruptcy in 1987 and ‘did our time’ for the next three years.

Barbara was then contracted by a fashion company to set up a homewares chain – ‘My House’ – which she did and then moved on. The Slatyers had difficulty in finding suitably large spaces for operating in Sydney due to retail spaces becoming increasingly expensive – they got squeezed out of their ‘inexpensive-but-good-quality’ niche by high rents, and so they came south, deciding that Berry was the ideal spot. Only 2 hours from Sydney, much less expensive and a town with a certain quality. They were pleasantly surprised to find that a small shop on a back street in a country town was soon generating more traffic than they had experienced in Pitt Street mall, Sydney!

Regarding their purchasing philosophy, Harvey explains: “Barbara is willing to go anywhere, and we go to factories in God-forsaken places, and we have trust that the factory will deliver to our specifications”. And, since they are buying in container loads, their judgment must be acute.

What is the secret of Haven & Space’s success? Harvey says: “I’d like to think it’s the beautiful stock that Barbara buys, but it’s probably the price”. Like many men, his practical side dominates his aesthetic side. Undoubtedly it’s quality AND price that defines the bargains and which sees customers travel from far and wide to shop at Haven & Space.

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