An Exclusive Retail Service Experience Is At The Center Of CB2’s New Design Shop

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Over the past few years, retail stores have turned towards hybrid mixed-use and experiential concepts, mainly because they create a memorable and interactive shopping journey for customers. CB2, a luxury furniture and décor brand, will be opening a new concept on May 11th with the same type of unique experience in mind.

The company has 26 locations across the US and Canada and has grown its footprint by 20 percent over the past two years alone. This new concept, the CB2 Design Shop, will mark its 27th location, 25th in the US, and second in Los Angeles. The brand selected Malibu for this new location given that LA is already one of its top markets and the belief that there is untapped potential for luxury furniture retail.

Unlike other stores, this location will only be 2,250 square feet, about one-quarter its average footprint. In addition, it will be exclusively staffed by CB2 Interiors Stylists, expertly trained to help clients with minor updates to complete home redesigns. CB2’s Interior Stylists generally comprise only 10% of their retail model. Therefore, this location will be unique in its expertise.

“During the past two years, customers have been more invested in creating functional spaces that meet the unique needs of their homes but also reflect their personal style. We see this demand reflected in the growth of our complimentary design services program, which scaled from 30 interior stylists in 2021 to more than 100 in the past year. Similarly, Trade members, who are met with the same demand, have challenged retail partners like us to develop the resources necessary for them to serve their clients and grow their business,” Ryan Turf, President of CB2, shared.

Other furniture and home goods brands have seen the opportunity to update their store experience and concept. For example, RH has been focusing on its one-of-a-kind retail experiences, like its restaurants. Last September, it also opened its first hospitality experience in NYC called the RH Guesthouse. In addition, Parachute, a smaller DTC home goods brand, recently shifted its focus to in-store events after doubling its footprint over the last year to 26 stores across the US. And even Ikea, recently launched a virtual Interior Design service.

It’s become essential for retailers to create one-of-a-kind experiences, both online and in-person, to keep customers engaged. For CB2, that also means hosting events. Its Malibu store plans to host regular design programming called “CB2 Shop Talk,” where designers will lead meet and greets, demonstrations, and panel discussions.

“The CB2 Design Shop is designed to present customers we’ve long known with a more intimate expression of what they want. We’ve positioned this location as a design and creative hub for Trade and their clients, as a services hub for customers, and as a shopping destination for customers looking for the latest and most unique pieces to add to their homes,” Turf stated. Adding that “will serve as a pilot model for high-touch and exclusive service experiences in the future.”

Service overall has become a crucial aspect of getting customers into retail stores. Marco Catena, a Partner at McKinsey, believes that adding a service is key to the retail playbook, stating that “the second step is the development of a service proposition—one that is consistent with the product proposition—that can respond to and solve the unmet service needs of your loyal customer base.” RH is a brand that’s seen this necessity and applied it through various service-based hospitality concepts. But even non-furniture and home goods brands saw an opportunity to up their game. For instance, Therabody opened service-centered retail shops called Reset, focused on providing treatments to customers rather than selling products, which now exist in four states across the US. Another example is Madison Reed, a company known for its hair coloring products, which started opening Color Bars in 2017 and now has over 80 locations nationwide.

Therefore, in addition to its smaller footprint and experiential components, its service-centric approach is what makes CB2’s new Design Shop a one-of-a-kind concept in the furniture and home goods space. A concept that, if successful, will likely expand across the country.

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