By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
This month we are heading to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York. A world of design inspiration awaits us with a showing of the latest in furniture, accessories, lighting, art, and kitchen, bath, and building product trends. Everything you could ever want or need for your customers’ upcoming design projects.
Don’t do design? Well, as a former designer, may I humbly say you are missing out on the opportunity to bring in new business without lifting a finger? Also, providing design services allows your business to move from just selling products to selling an investment in a lifestyle, bringing something truly unique to each customer—what the French describe as a certain “Je ne sais quoi”.
Stores like Ethan Allen call their sales reps “design professionals”, host design workshops and offer referral incentives to affiliate designers. West Elm’s Design Lab provides complimentary home stylist services and installation services starting at $129— including TV wall mounts. And it’s not just the national chains cashing in on the “design for life” bandwagon either. Independents like Wolf’s Furniture and Baer’s Furniture offer free design services and a virtual design center with helpful how-to articles on their websites.
Make sure you are satisfying the discerning tastes of today’s consumer with what they want and need for their next design project by working with a local designer or decorator.
Already working with a standout designer? Encourage them to enter the 2015 NKBA Design Competition. Award winners garner national press, industry recognition and cash prizes (only NKBA members are eligible).
Designer for life,