In partnership with Outer.
We’ve featured Outer on The Quality Edit before; the AAPI-founded brand is not only gorgeous and sustainable, but is also loved by Martha Stewart and Beverley Mitchell (and who are we to argue with those authorities)? From our first experience testing the Outer Sofa, we fell in love immediately with the brand’s thoughtful, durable, and eco-conscious design and materials.
But the brand really blew our minds -- and set itself apart -- with a first-of-its-kind Neighborhood Showroom retail model. And as of today, they’re announcing the launch of over 1,000 Neighborhood Showrooms nationwide.
Disrupting The DTC Experience
Online shopping is already difficult enough for small-ticket items like clothing or shoes. But for major investments like furniture? It’s nearly impossible. I need to see and experience the product for myself, in-person, prior to purchasing. This is especially true for seasonal products like outdoor furniture, and even brick-and-mortar retailers rarely stock their full online assortment on the showroom floor.
With Outer’s Neighborhood Showroom program, real customers (and fans of the brand) open their backyards to prospective clientele by appointment, enabling shoppers to have a uniquely intimate, hands-on experience with the product.
Neighborhood Showroom hosts are not salespeople, so shoppers can expect a relaxed experience and a candid review from someone who uses Outer’s furniture every day. The typical Neighborhood Showroom visit is about 15-20 minutes long.
The Future of Retail: The Rocketship Growth Of The Neighborhood Showroom
As of today, Outer has just announced the launch of more than 1,000 Neighborhood Showrooms in 49 states. Outer CEO Jiake Liu reflects on this landmark achievement:
“The way people shop is evolving. We saw an overlooked opportunity in outdoor furniture, not only in the way it was designed but the way people shop for it. Our Neighborhood Showroom program is not only the next generation of retail, but also a way for people to re-engage with their communities and neighbors.”
Good For Real People, Good For The Planet
Traditional furniture showrooms have a significant environmental footprint -- despite sitting empty for most of the day. Not only have Neighborhood Showrooms enabled Outer to scale rapidly with minimal environmental impact by using existing outdoor spaces, but the program also emphasizes the importance of real places, spaces, and styles in the purchasing process. Regardless of where shoppers live or their design tastes, Outer’s Showrooms offer a sourcebook of style to inspire their outdoor oasis.
Functionally, they emphasize just how weather-proof and lifeproof Outer’s products are. Neighborhood Showrooms in every region demonstrate firsthand how Outer’s furniture holds up to extreme heat, rain, wind, and snow.
As the country re-opens post-pandemic, Outer is celebrating the program’s massive growth and the return to outdoor entertaining. Jiake echoes this sentiment: “After a long year of isolation, we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone, and give people an opportunity to connect and enjoy the outdoors together.”