1765 The Store provides a one-stop-shop for F&B table-top solutions in the UAE. Director of sales and marketing Clive Piper told us a bit more about what they have to offer.
How did you get involved with 1765 Gemini?
I worked with Martin Koebke (the owner), when he worked with his previous company and at the time I was working with Churchill, one of his suppliers. That was over 10 years ago. When he decided to set up 1765 Gemini, he approached me to become his sales director and his second employee, that was nine years ago and I have been there helping him and the team to grow the company ever since.
How does the product selection work within the company?
We work with a number of global suppliers, who bring out new products lines regularly. We as a management team look at these products and decide whether or not to invest in stock. This is for our general bread & butter products... For speciality items, Martin has a very good eye for selecting niche products, he does his research, organises samples to arrive, and once again as a management team we look at the samples, try to work out what will sell, then invest in bringing stock into the market.
What made you want to open up The Store (warehouse) to the public?
We started to setup @1765TheStore for two main reasons, firstly we wanted to give residents in the UAE the opportunity to be able to purchase products that are being used in many of the restaurants here in the city, the diversity of restaurants concepts is tremendous, and as a supplier to these outlets, we also have the access to products that are being used. You no longer have to go to your international department stores to get affordable products for home. The second reason for opening up is to help the constant supply and demand within the hospitality world without the usual time frame of product orders. Our store is setup to fit out many concepts and cover new openings of cafes, bars and restaurants.
What can customers expect when they come into The Store?
@1765TheStore has a bright, airy, vibrant feel, although essentially you are walking into a warehouse, we have tried to give it a modern yet rustic feel. Our customer/client approach has a very good natured feel. Clients can come and go at their own pace. We have a seating area where they can grab a coffee and go through our catalogues to match what they are looking for and we are always around to assist with any questions they have. You will find some additional art features around the warehouse which adds a bit of quirkiness to the outlet. We want to be different and although the place is always evolving, we are certainly heading in the right direction.
Where do your products come from?
Our products come from all over the world, quite literally. We carry brands made in the US, UK, Japan, Belgium, Denmark, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Spain, Germany, India and a few more countries besides.
Do you have any own brand products?
We have set up our own brands Studio1765, 1765 Bar, 1765 Light it up (table lamps) and 1765 Rocket (champagne cooler) which we get manufactured under our own label. By manufacturing and designing your own products you have the opportunity to explore new markets. We also have a number of generic items with our company branding on it, which is great for marketing and advertising purposes.
When bringing in new brands, how will you ensure these products can crossover from stylish F&B venues such as Buddha Bar, STK, Gold 27 to home functionality?
Our core business as a company is the food and beverage/table top marketplace, so we need to make sure new brands fit into this sector first. With the diversity of concepts out in the market place it is unrealistic to think we can carry everything that will suit all concepts. That also goes for the home market as well. UAE is very much a multicultural society, we cannot expect to think that our products will suit everybody, what we can do is look at the marketplace, and the growing trends, and adapt our selection process so that be try to set the trends as opposed to following them.
You’re a UAE company now opening up to the diverse general public, how will that change your buying method?
We will need to adapt our buying methods for sure, although our core business is the trade and products on a whole will need to work in this environment first and foremost.... But we will offer more diversification of product and move into different areas away from food and beverage.
How do you think your pricing sits compared to other kitchen and furniture stores in the UAE?
In a nutshell, we compare favourably. We have a number of unique items which have a higher price, and not suitable to everyone, however they are a number of extremely well priced products in store, that are far better than the competition. Another point you need to remember, a lot of products we sell are specifically designed for commercial use, and therefore cost a little more as they have to conform to higher testing standards.
How do you see The Store’s communication changing from industry professionals such as chefs, restaurateurs, to now incorporating UAE residents?
The current location of @1765TheStore is on the same site as our previous head office and showroom, so most restaurateurs and hoteliers who have been in the region are very much aware of our location. Our main focus is the UAE residents and new hoteliers, we are very much looking to social media to spread the word of our whereabouts. We will also use the traditional media method but we will be trying out different more resident focused publications as opposed to commercial ones.
How can we find The Store? Opening times?
@1765TheStore is located in Al Quoz, the easiest way to find us is to check google maps and type in "1765 The Store", or check out our social media pages @1765thestore or website www.1765gemini.com/thestore/.
We are currently open from Sunday to Thursday 9.30am to 5.30pm, this can also be found on google. However we will be having late night openings and weekend openings soon, this will be displayed across social media when announced.