VMSD - February 2015 - (Page 60)
Interview by Steve Kaufman
Frustrated by the process of selecting appliances and plumbing fixtures,
Pirch's ceo is selling the ideal of the good life in his stores.
What inspired the thought?
It was born out of frustration. My business
partner, Jim Stuart, and I compared notes
about how horrific our purchasing experiences had been. We were convinced there
was a better way.
How did you end up in the housing
I was going to be a lawyer. One summer, I
had a chance to work in a clerical position
for a law firm. My father suggested I talk
to a business associate of his, who was the
president of a carpet mill, just to practice my
interview skills. We talked, I was offered a job
And then came Pirch.
The original name was Fixtures Living, but
as we evolved we learned that our name
caused people to think we were in the lighting business.
So Fixtures Living became Pirch...
We wanted a name that either spoke
directly about what we did or caused people to ask, "What does Pirch mean?" We
arrived at "Perch" - as in a place to roost,
to settle down, to feather your nest - but
changed the "e" to an "i" to make the name
on the spot and I haven't looked back.
You're about to build a store in
SoHo. How important is location
for this concept?
We feel our concept deserves premium
locations. Though when we opened our
first store in San Diego, in 2010, the only way
you'd have known we were there is if you'd
damaged your car and had to visit one of the
auto body shops in the neighborhood.
That changed quickly, didn't it?
Yes, in 2011 we opened our first real concept
store in Costa Mesa, Calif., about two miles
from South Coast Plaza. It was the first time
we experienced unique traffic of 1500 to
2000 visitors per week and it changed the
course of the business.
So now you're in places like
Rancho Mirage, the Oakbrook
Center in Chicago, NorthPark
Center in Dallas, Lenox Marketplace
in Atlanta. How will you maintain
the consistency of the concept as
By hiring the right people and immersing
them in our culture. We bring 40 to 60 people onboard for every new store and we fly
them to San Diego for a week of sharing
"why we exist" versus just "what we do." It
creates that sense of consistency, no matter
what store you enter. There is no better use
of my time.
Yes, most ceos spend their time
talking to investors, don't they?
Equally important for sure, but if we don't
get the culture correct, we won't have
C O U R T E S Y O F P I R CH , SA N D I E G O
You've said Pirch changes the
paradigm of buying appliances
and plumbing products and
services. Want to explain?
If kitchen and bathroom products are considered investments that can really change
the quality of life in a home, how can they
be sold like commodities? Why not present
them in well-appointed, interactive environments with world-class service?
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - February 2015
VMSD - February 2015
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
Unwrapping a Gift
Decking teh Windows with Digital
Keepin' It Real
VMSD - February 2015