Dyson believes in showroom stores
Through a special arrangement, what follows is a summary of an article from WayfinD, a quarterly e-magazine filled with insights, trends and predictions from the retail and foodservice experts at WD Partners.
The Dyson flagship showroom store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is a product playhouse for appliance lovers and hair dryer fanatics. Bet you didn’t even know there were such people.
In a heavily trafficked area on Fifth Avenue, the 3,200-square-foot space is home to an interactive experience where consumers can test and try Dyson products.
Book a free appointment and try out their supersonic hairdryer that retails at $399 (the sticker shock is real). After drying your hair, spill a few Cheerios and test out any vacuum you want on an array of floor samples, from carpet to hardwood. You can even cool yourself on a hot summer day before a museum-like display of bladeless fans.
Imagine walking into your local Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target or Walmart and spilling a handful of Cheerios to test out a vacuum. The chances are slim.
That’s not to say Dyson isn’t trying to turn mass-market retail into a showroom channel. In 2017, “Dyson Demo Experiences” were opened in at least 90 Best Buy stores (a.k.a. a store-within-a-store) with spaces ranging from 40- to 400-square-feet.
Over the last two years, Dyson has aggressively pushed to control how customers try its products within lavish flagship stores while creating gathering spaces that people actually want to go to instead of shopping online.
Another thing Dyson is doing right? Customer service. In Dyson Showroom stores, there are no cashiers. Instead, “specialist assistants” answer questions and facilitate demos in addition to helping with check out.
Before the flagship strategy, Dyson had mostly sold its products online, including on Amazon and through other third-party retailers. Opening at least 25 showroom-like stores in 2017 alone, Dyson’s successful retail expansion has coincided with a double-digit rise in overall sales.
For brands still sitting on the sidelines, unwilling to invest in showroom stores, the financial success of Dyson’s store expansion proves such investments do pay off.
We recommend exploring how this is done as soon as possible.
- We Believe in Showroom Stores, So Does Dyson – WayfinD
- Dyson’s Latest Cordless Vacuums Drive Sales Past $3 Billion – Bloomberg
- James Dyson launches £299 hairdryer in shock move into beauty industry – Telegraph
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – WD Partners
- Should showrooms replace closed stores? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the Dyson showroom model of low inventory, high experience best suited for other high-end items or does it have applications for items sold at lower price points as well? What’s holding back more such interactive experiences at retail?