$48,000 Ovens? Meet The Luxury Retailer Selling Appliances Like Apple, Tiffany

This piece originally appeared on Forbes

Fast-growing retailer Pirch leverages in-store showers, gourmet chefs and secret entrances to sell high-end appliances.

At the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in northern New Jersey only one storefront features a bathtub. Standing next to the earth-colored freestanding stone tub, where water flows in a gentle cascade, Jeffery Sears, the 59-year-old CEO of Pirch, thinks the location couldn’t be a more natural fit. “As you walk toward our store, you hit Neiman Marcus on the right, and you look down and see Gucci and Tiffany, too,” he says.

Those neighbors matter to Pirch, which wants to make appliance retail more of an experience. Customers can walk inside and enjoy a complimentary latte or lemon-ginger water at Pirch’s Bliss Café. They walk past the Kitchen, where chefs are spit-roasting chicken, before arriving at the pristine Sanctuary, a luxury bathroom filled with showerheads, saunas and tubs. Sears presses a button on an iPad, and water flows softly from a bowling-pin-shaped showerhead. “If you’re late for work, and you’re trying to get the shampoo out of your hair, you’ll want to kick it,” he laughs, pointing to the wall featuring two dozen shapes and spray patterns. “The concept for us is, If I’m going to pick a showerhead, I want to know how the water comes out.”

Customers can schedule a time to come in and test the showers themselves (bathrobes provided). Though fewer than five customers a month do so, it’s part of a strategy that makes the upstart chain one of the most innovative retail concepts around. In an era of online shopping and sparsely staffed warehouses, Pirch is doubling down on service and luxury. In 2014, after five years in business, it hit $113 million in annual revenue with seven locations.

Read the full story on Forbes HERE

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