Locally and internationally, high-value brands in all sorts of categories, from cars to appliances, are increasingly concerned that the consumer sees their products in the best possible light, literally.
New facilities are springing up that are more about the experience – making an overall impression – than selling stuff.
For example there has been much interest in the last few weeks around appliance retailer Kitchen Things’ uber-upmarket Kitchen Things Luxury Collection in Auckland (photos above and below).
From our industry’s perspective, comment has centred particularly around its inclusion of top end bathroomware in partnership with Robertson Bathware, and that this relationship, as well as some aspects of the kitchen appliance offering, may eventually proliferate around the Kitchen Things network…
The highly finished, highly curated Auckland site is about “theatre” and “experience”.
Featuring only absolute top of the range products, the staff at the Morrow Street site are not only comfortable with and experienced in the selling of truly luxury goods but also highly knowledgeable about the products and technologies on show and will work hard to truly personalise a customer’s experience.
Situated on Newmarket’s Morrow Street the new venture is directly opposite the building site that will become Scentre Group’s $790 million reinvention of the shopping mall, complete with David Jones, almost 2,800 car parks and extended hours.
And, far from being a one-off, all being equal, once the concept is proven, there will be similar Luxury Collection showrooms in Wellington and Christchurch, possibly as soon as within the next 18 months.
Also in this vein, Caroma has been getting experiential recently with its Aussie customers.
Across the ditch, starting in October last year in Adelaide and more recently in Sydney (photo above), Caroma has established a pair of high style, high-value showrooms designed to relax, engage and inform consumers while they consider how they might transform their bathroom(s).
The Sydney facility, named Caroma on Collins, is a large (2,500m2) and impressive space with trees and plants, free Wi-Fi, a luxurious public restroom and of course 10 high-style bathroom settings, “capsules” as they’re described.
There are also several hundred fully functional bathroom products around the space (fed by rainwater collection tanks which are a feature in themselves) but it isn’t a hard sell, so much as a hard tell.
Staffed by designers, the Adelaide facility (photo below) is called Caroma on the Parade and, like Caroma on Collins, was created to “simplify your renovation journey and educate you along the way”.