This home appliance store lets you take a bath or cook a pizza before deciding to buy its products — here’s what it’s like to shop there
Pirch is redefining what it means to try before you buy. The startup retail company just opened a massive new store in SoHo, Manhattan’s most shopping-centric neighborhood, and it’s packed with fun, interactive gadgets.
The gimmick: All of the home appliances and fixtures that Pirch sells actually work in the store, so you can experience them firsthand and imagine them in your own home. The refrigerators are chilled, the faucets and showerheads run water, the ovens beep, and the washers wash.
Pirch was co-founded in 2009 by two formerly retired executives in the home and real estate development business, CEO Jeffery Sears and chairman Jim Stuart. Both men had similarly terrible experiences trying to buy home fixtures and appliances. In 2011, they opened the first Pirch store in San Diego. Later, they would open eight more across the country.
Pirch offers a completely different shopping experience. Let’s take a tour through its brand-new SoHo location, which was built in an old metalworks building. It’s one of the biggest stores in the neighborhood, and the company’s largest location yet.
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Pirch focuses on three areas of home appliances: the kitchen, the bathroom, and the outdoor space. All of its merchandise is laid out in a highly interactive space. “We thought, ‘How would we want to be treated?’, and so we built a place where people were received as guests,” CEO Jeffery Sears said to Business Insider.
Pirch is attempting to disrupt what it says is a $ 40 billion luxury appliances market. Pirch has raised a total of $ 127 million in venture capital, including $ 62.8 million from L Catterton, who also previously invested in Restoration Hardware.
Any shopping trip at Pirch starts with a stop at the Bliss Cafe, a full-service coffee counter that’s stocked with complimentary cappuccinos, cucumber water, and lemonade that customers can grab as they enter the store.
From the cafe, you are free to move around the three levels of the 32,000-square-foot store. Everything is interactive, from the running faucets to the beeping dishwashers. “Look but don’t touch” does not apply here whatsoever.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider