Where the Teens Are, PBTeen Pops Up

Oct 22, 2012

PBteen, Pottery Barn’s tweens and teens furnishings concept, will open five pop up stores in October and November in the Durham, NC; Cincinnati; Edina, MN; Houston and Miami areas.

The stores will showcase the retailer’s holiday gift assortment, including gadgets, fur-inspired bedding and lounge seating, jewelry and beauty storage and accessories, as well as its recently launched home collection under the Burton snowboard brand.

Onsite design specialists will be available to help teens choose their favorite patterns and styles to craft their own unique bedroom, study or lounge. Each pop up will be anchored around a PBteen Design Lab, where teens and their parents can create a personalized room electronically on a computer monitor that’s shown on a television screen.

During each store’s grand opening weekend, the first 250 customers who check in at each new store via Facebook or create a wish list in the Design Lab will receive a free PBteen back sack, and five winners at each store will find a surprise $250 gift card inside. Each store will also have a live D.J. playing music with PBteen product giveaways.

"I am proud to announce PBteen’s expansion this holiday season," said Laura Alber, president and CEO, Williams-Sonoma, the parent of PBteen. "We look forward to engaging with our customers in these five communities and are thrilled to give them a first-hand look at the quality and uniqueness of our PBteen products."

PBteen, which targets teenagers between the ages of 13 to 19, was launched as a catalog in 2003. The first PBteen store opened in 2008 in Atlanta, and five more have been added in Chicago, Natick, New York City, Roseville and St. Louis. The mix ranges from bedding, window treatments, rugs, lighting, gear, decorative accessories, storage and organization solutions, and furniture including beanbag chairs. A sub brand PB Dorm was introduced in 2010 aimed at young people starting college life.

What do you think of the growth potential for a home retailer focusing on teens? Do pop up shops work for the home furnishings category?

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7 Comments on "Where the Teens Are, PBTeen Pops Up"

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Tom Redd
9 years 7 months ago

This is a good concept and I estimate that the young market will use the pop-up and the internet together to create their “room experience.” From there they just need help getting the parents to buy it. That is where the new format concept might have some problems, but with IKEA’s success online, PB may have something here.

Whatever happened to kids getting stuff for their room from relatives and garage sales or garbage picking?

1. Bed from older sister;
2. Chests of drawers – some antique from an auction;
3. Bedspread – Aunt Mary made it….1776 theme;
4. Cool stuff – garbage picking with friends on Thursday nights….

Frank Riso
9 years 7 months ago

Great idea. Today we have wish lists or better yet, gift registry for toys for children’s birthdays and Christmas, then on to Quinceanera for 15 year olds, then it’s bridal registry, baby registery, and then it starts all over again. The retailers that enter the registry world may have a customer for life and for their next generations to come.

Kevin Graff
9 years 7 months ago

The home furnishing category as a whole doesn’t cater to anyone but adults well. There is, in my opinion, a huge gap in marketing to both teens and kids with home furnishings.

Teens aren’t kids, and they’re not adults, so they are constantly searching for ways to define themselves in every thing they do. Their bedroom is their exclusive domain, so what better place for them to finally be able to carve it out with furnishings targeted at them?

Home run idea for Pottery Barn!

Ryan Mathews
9 years 7 months ago

Can you sell certain items at certain times like this? Of course you can. Does this make it a viable retail strategy? I’m not so sure.

The teen market is tricky and I guess — after four kids — I’d have to see some data to tell me where home furnishings rank on a list of teen shopping priorities.

Matthew Keylock
Matthew Keylock
9 years 7 months ago

Great idea. I suspect it will appeal to younger kids than 13 too; many of them are plenty old and independent enough to want to stamp their own style on their bedroom!

Cathy Hotka
9 years 7 months ago

Tom Redd’s right — our generation NEVER got new furniture. But today’s parents think their kids deserve it, and I’d guess that this can be very profitable. Anyone who visits the IKEA parking lot on the weekends before college starts can attest to this.

Lee Peterson
9 years 7 months ago

Think IKEA — this could be a pretty big idea, certainly a market worth exploring.

Mini-quant study: every one of my daughters (many) asks for furniture for presents, year round … my son, never once. Makes me wonder if there’s a gender ‘thing’ going on with teen furniture.

Another factor, since the buyer will be a parent, PB will have the complexity of a shopper and a user, something Gatorade knows a lot about. It’s not easy.


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