We recently shared the news of the launch of the 5Rooms website, an exciting online store that will offer a virtual shopping experience unlike any other currently available to South Africans. Now anyone anywhere in the country will be able to log on and buy designer items from a whole host of local and international brands. The name 5Rooms highlights the fact that you can buy homeware for your bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom or kid’s room, making the process incredibly easy and convenient. To find out more we chatted to Managing Director Sean Weldon and Design Consultant Jacki Lang who gave us the inside scoop… What influenced your move to start a 24-hour, furniture and decor online retail store, that offers local and international items to SA across the border ? I think the market is finally ready for an online retail home decor offering. SA does not have an aggregated supplier base and full turn key online offering for your home at the moment. The amount of people in our country who have access to the internet via a computer or their mobile is said to be in excess of 10 million, surely some of them need something for their home…. (Sean) Which well-known designer brands, both local and international, can we expect to see online? We are very proud to already have some local iconic brands on board such as Carrol Boyes, Dark Horse, Haldane Martin, Liam Mooney, Petersens, DK Woodkraft, Mobelli, Woodlam. We also make exciting overseas brands available to our consumers such as Dauphin, Dyson, Joseph & Joseph, Morphy Richards, Riedel, Saeco and many more…. (Sean We’re currently seeing a move whereby decor purchasing is taking an online slant – do you think this will continue to grow as a trend in the future? If so, why do you think this development is taking place? We think shopping online for your home is definitely a trend that is growing significantly. Browsing online for furniture is all about nesting and dreaming as well as escapism and having the experience come to you in the comfort of your own home. People have less and time less free time nowadays, and want to be able to edit their options quickly and be able to make comparisons – all things that can happen on 5rooms without having to get up out of bed. More and more e-commerce sites are launching in South Africa and we think this growth is such a positive shift. The more people shop online, the more they trust the experience and the more they are starting to turn to it for all their retail experiences. Shoppers like to browse online from home away from their jobs and daily lives, or at night, and find ways to express themselves in their homes when they are feeling relaxed and comfortable. Research shows that people are doing major furniture browsing online and 5rooms.com is going to make it easier, safer and more fun to actually shop online than ever before. Our design consultancy will also be able to help users compile a collection of items that work well together or can help them find the perfect piece that they are looking for – for their own homes or as gifts. (Jacki) Catering to an array of budgets is also one of your key focuses – does this mean that South Africans from all walks of life will be able to enjoy this service? Exactly. We would like to appeal to as many people as we can reach and will be stocking fun fashion items that are more trend-driven are more affordable, as well as a more boutique offering of limited edition high design pieces. (Jacki) Is the 5Rooms site very visual and what sort of look have you tried to create? Our site is hugely centred on a visual experience that is easy to navigate while being inspiring at the same time. We have gone for a look in our site design that is efficient, accessible, modern and clean. (Jacki) For more information about 5Rooms or to start shopping visit 5rooms.com. You can also stay updated via Facebook.com/5rooms or follow them on Twitter at @5Roomsdotcom.