I am not the target market for Restoration Hardware, I mean RH. But I do think it is interesting the way they are evolving their brand. At the beginning of 2021, the company announced a $105 million equity investment in a development project in Aspen, where it is planning a new guesthouse and, more broadly, a new “RH ecosystem” that will include residences, restaurants, a spa, etc. It hasn’t opened yet, but RH does now have a guesthouse in New York. To be clear, it is not a hotel:
So what is RH trying to do with all this?
Surface Magazine recently argued that they are trying to become the “public” version of Soho House. That is, a lifestyle omni-brand that isn’t membership-based, but that will still make you feel rich and special while you eat, sleep, play, and shop for various things for your home. Now, I do think that their target customers aren’t exactly the same person. But of course, I see the parallels. And it’s certainly interesting from an experiential retail, brand ecosystem, and real estate development standpoint. It gets the brand everywhere.
I have also been following this with great interest, have you also seen the RH private jet and yacht?
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I caught glimpses on their website. All in on rich people.
Before I got to “we don’t have silly rules”, I was thinking: “Man, this place has a lot of rules!” It makes sense though: people who need a lot of structure in their life will often try to obscure their obsession with order and control. In place of fusty rules, they will gently browbeat you with “nudges”. The gym equipment in every room says: You’re dirty and dangerous; stay away from me. I think I’ll stick with my Roman B&B, the one with the gleaming terrazzo floors. When I ask the host if I should take off my shoes (to show respect to long since departed terrazzo craftsman), the host bursts into laughter and says “This floor will be here long after you and I are gone!”
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I thought the same thing about all the rules! Makes me think the last line is a joke.
Agreed! I used to be a big fan of Richard Thaler’s and Cass Sunstein’s book Nudge when it came out. My younger self thought “This book will help me to become a more effective architect AND help my clients to make better decisions. Now, I look back and laugh at that earnest but naive guy.