Restoration Hardware's Evolution to Design Studio
Restoration Hardware is in the business of selling furniture, but these days, the retail experience is more than just buying products. It’s becoming an entire lifestyle.
In 2016, the brand launched RH Interior Design as well as the interactive RH Design Ateliers across all their retail stores. So not only can consumers come to Restoration Hardware to fill their homes, but they can also rely on internal interior designers—and even bring their own architects and designers to RH workspaces—to give their spaces a point of view and sense of style.
“The evolution of our interior-design services positions RH as a leading interior-design firm and demonstrates how our brand can deliver value that transcends just creating and selling product, as we move toward conceptualizing and selling spaces,” RH Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman said in a statement.
The company, which opened in 1979, is known for luxe weathered antique-style furnishings, lighting, and accessories.
But its business model continues to evolve. Last fall, the brand opened its first retail “experience,” a 90,000-square-foot, six-level gallery dubbed RH New York, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The space houses a restaurant, bar, an art installation, all the RH lines—modern, outdoor, baby and child, teen, etc.—as well as an entire floor dedicated to design with RH interior-design offices, client presentation rooms, and state-of-the-art technology that basically makes it a full-scale design firm.
“We are designing a seamlessly integrated ecosystem of businesses that amplify and render our brand, and each other, more valuable,” Friedman says.
But RH’s expansion isn’t done yet. The company plans to increase the number of new galleries with integrated restaurants, wine vaults, and barista bars from an average of three to five new galleries per year to five to seven per year, with 2019 openings slated in Edina, Minn.; Charlotte, N.C.; Corte Madera, Calif.; San Francisco; and Columbus, Ohio.
“We are creating a customer experience that can’t be replicated online…We have total control of our brand from concept to customer. What we are building is extremely rare in today’s retail landscape,” Friedman says.