What Happened with Pirch?
Photo by Mark Steele
Known for its innovative showroom experiences, Pirch recently announced it has plans to close its Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Paramus, N.Y., locations by Sept. 30. Pirch, a recent Showroom of the Year award winner for KBB‘s Design Awards, is still in talks with landlords regarding its SoHo showroom in New York.
KBB recently spoke to a source familiar with the company’s plans to learn more.
Although the stores in California are still profitable and growing, some of the other locations attached to malls in other areas have not performed as well. When Pirch began in California, it was a company with a well-established core trade business that was not necessarily recognized outside of that area; then those locations began catering to the consumer as well.
When Pirch veered into more consumer-friendly territory and started attaching its stores to malls – something that has not fared well with the trade – it may have been hard to stay profitable in those locations. After all, design professionals have multiple ongoing projects throughout the year – every year – and consumers may renovate a kitchen once every decade.
The brand may have also expanded too rapidly to the East Coast without a stronger foundation with the trade, although negotiations are still in the works for New York’s SoHo store, a location that has been praised by both consumers and design professionals. The company will know whether or not that store will remain open later this month.
Because a lot of architects and interior designers are accustomed to doing their research and product selection at design centers, Pirch would do well to rethink any new locations closer to those facilities, as design centers are perceived as more serviceable to the trade.
In Pirch’s official statement, they want to make this message loud and clear: “All customers, no matter where they made their purchase, will be satisfied and shipped – even if they ordered from a store that may eventually close.”
Also from the official statement: “As Pirch evaluates its footprint and pace of expansion, it will emphasize its core business of serving the design resources (architects, builders, interior designers, etc.). These have been the most impactful customers and have driven the company’s success in Southern California.”