Chelsea McIntosh first opened gift and souvenir store Spoilt Gift & Homewares in 2005. Since then the business has expanded from a single, modest brick and mortar store to a chain across Melbourne, as well as an online business. This year the business expanded by opening their 8th store, located at 231 Bourke Street in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling CBD.
Spoilt started from humble beginnings as a family-owned business. While keeping the integrity of its roots the business has continued to thrive and has been commemorated for its success over the years. In 2015, Spoilt was awarded the Melbourne Lord Mayor Bronze Commendation award for 10 years of service to the retail industry; the business was also a finalist in the 2017 Gift & Lifestyle Retailer of The Year Award; and one of the top four finalists in the Independent Retail category for the 2017 and 2018 Eftpos Australian Retail Award, with the 2018 winner to be announced in October.
In a climate where the retail industry has become increasingly hard to survive, Chelsea is proud to say that Spoilt has gone from strength to strength and officially opened its newest store located within a short walking distance from Bourke Street Mall. “Running a retail business for over 10 years in Melbourne’s CBD I have seen the industry change and also found a gap in the market when it came to tourists. Many souvenir stores have fairly generic products and we found our customers commonly asking for Australian and Melbourne souvenirs to send overseas to friends and family, that were a bit more unique and special than what they had seen elsewhere. With so many visitors coming from all over the world and from interstate to Melbourne, I could see the potential for my business to really hone in on this market and provide beautiful products for them to take back home with them as gifts. This has been a focus when opening our 8th store, especially given its location. The majority of our stores are based in office towers, whereas this one is right on the doorstep of Bourke Street Mall, where many tourists and visitors shop.”
The new store has an extensive range of Australian products to accommodate for the growing tourist market in Melbourne. While it stocks all of its customer’s favourites from brands such as Louenhide, Nicole Fendel, Sophie the Giraffe, Ecoya and more, the new store and business as a whole now has a strong focus on Australian made and designed products. “We’ve always stocked a lot of products designed by Australian businesses, now we’re putting even more of a focus on this, as well as sourcing products that are made here in Australia too. I think it is very important to support local businesses. We work closely with many of our suppliers to be able to provide souvenirs and products that are a little bit different. Some of the Australian brands we stock are Urban Rituelle, FlatOut Bear, Freckleberry, Willlow TreeLane, Tooletries and we recently added Couchmate, which is proudly Australian Made. We’re also very aware of the environmental impact we have as a society, so we provide environmentally friendly products from local businesses, such as HoneyBee Beeswax Wraps and Onya Bags. We also made the decision as a business earlier in the year to switch from plastic bags to reusable bags in all of our stores. We hope that making these changes and paying close attention to the changing market in Melbourne we will continue to grow and expand,” Chelsea explains on the focuses for the business moving forward.