There is nothing I do not love about the new Restoration Hardware flagship in New York’s Meatpacking district. It is everything a retail store should be; a perfect format for presenting the brands products and a bold statement that shows just how much you can get out of a relationship with the brand.
The fact that it pulls people in is of course partly down to the fact that the space is as beautiful as it is aspirational. The nicest thing about it for me is the fact that it has a charming undertone of generosity, like the best host you know whose door is always open and does everything required to ensure that you always feel welcome. People are encouraged to dwell in the space and they really do. It is as much of a destination as many of the amazing restaurants and hotels that surround it.
RH also appear to be very conscious of what their customers are asking for: the restaurant and the bar seems to be a reaction to the fact that people were bringing their own food into their store in West Hollywood location. For this reason, the brand incorporated their own food offering into the New York store.
The brand makes a conscious effort to share its ethos and vision through carefully placed quotes that are clearly visible without being intrusive.
I am pulled into the space, encouraged to dwell and test the products at which point they find their place on my wishlist (at least). I leave with a positive impression and a deeper understanding of the brand, knowing that I will certainly be going back. Most will also leave as ambassadors for the brand wanting to share their experience with others. If that is not what success looks like, I am not sure what is.
The statement that Gary Friedman makes on the RH homepage helps to explain why the space has been so successful. He rightfully points out that the “The Death of Retail” ignores that humans are physical and social creatures who are innately designed to explore. This has made him a great example to any brand that if you start with this belief and add beautiful design and genuine customer focused consideration then retail becomes the powerful channel that it always has the potential to be.
It is also important proof that people are responding incredibly well to big initiatives done properly. If you aim high enough you can allows people to walk away from your store with the same satisfaction that you would expect from a weekend away or any other experience driven leisure activity.
We start every project with a confidence that you can provide people with a very positive experience that helps to create strong connections and makes for good use of their time.
We want brand owners to understand that retail can offer these opportunities for any good product. This is why our Strategy process starts by focusing on the people who make up your potential audience and asks questions like; Are we giving them a good reason to visit by offering them more than they can get when interacting with your brand on other channels? Are we genuinely helping them to connect with the right products? How do we ensure that they enjoy and want to share their experience? What will make them want to come back?
When you set these principles in place at the outset of the process and design your store around them you work towards far greater success.
– Freddie Sheridan