The direct-to-consumer kitchenware brand Our Place gets physical
The digital kitchenware site Our Place is one of the latest online-only brands to move into brick and mortar retailing.
Our Place, which launched in 2019, just opened its first physical location in Los Angeles, the same city in which the brand was founded, according to a press release. The store is built with a cozy, home-like feel and includes a cafe that serves tea and other beverages. Our Place describes itself as “mission-driven” and intends for both the brand and the store to create a sense of community and promote the joy of cooking. In the back, the retail outlet has both stadium and cafe seating, and intends to use the space for food-related events, book launches, film screenings and the like.
Others in direct-to-consumer cookware have pursued expansion into the brick-and-mortar world through partnerships, rather than building a standalone store footprint.
Online kitchen brand Caraway recently announced that its products would be sold in 350 Target locations, according to CNBC. The company previously launched limited-location deals with other national retailers, selling a small selection of products in 80 Crate & Barrel locations, 80 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and 20 Nordstrom locations. Caraway started selling its products through Target’s website last year before launching the deal to appear on the physical store shelves.
Despite the expansion of these brands, high-end kitchenware has proven to be tough for some niche retailers as a sole focus, even those established in the space for decades.
Luxury kitchen business Sur La Table, for instance, declared bankruptcy before being acquired by luxury holding company Marquee Brands in mid-2020. Before its acquisition, Sur La Table suffered due to the consumer shift to online retail and a reduced interest in cooking at home in the years leading up to the pandemic, which then piled more pressure on the struggling business. Though Sur La Table was celebrated for its in-store cooking classes, the brand drastically reduced its store count under Marquee Brands, getting rid of at least 51 of 121 store locations.
- Our Place Opens First Retail Store in Los Angeles – PR Newswire
- Is Sur La Table too late for the home cooking craze? – RetailWire
- Target stores to sell Caraway pots and pans in online cookware company’s biggest push into brick-and-mortar – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can a brand like Our Place do to succeed and differentiate itself in a physical retail space? What strategy should it take to expand its physical footprint?