Retail revival watch: Sofa startup Burrow opens its first physical store

By Elizabeth Segran

August 29, 2018

Burrow, a startup that sells American-made sofas with a midcentury modern aesthetic, is getting into the brick-and-mortar game.

The brand launched last year with the interesting premise of selling sofas online and delivering them in the mail in boxes, avoiding the cost of white-glove delivery. As a result, the company says it could sell the sofas at a fraction of the cost of brands of comparable quality. Armchairs start at $495, while extra-large sofas cost $1,545. This parallels what is happening in the sleep industry, as many brands now ship mattresses in boxes at lower prices.

Until now, Burrow has partnered with other brands with stores. In Atlanta, for instance, you can check out a Burrow sofa at a brewery, and in North Carolina, you can see them a co-working space. But today, Burrow announces that it is opening its first retail concept in New York City. The store, located in Soho, will be called Burrow House and will allow consumers to try out products in creative ways. Visitors can hang out in front of a fireplace, watch movies in a private screening room, and also play around with making their own videos in a green screen studio.

For years, we’d been hearing about stores shutting down across the country because customers preferred shopping online. But a wave of digital startups is moving into physical stores. Bed-in-a-box brand Casper, for instance, just announced it is opening 200 stores in the next two years. And Away Luggage has been opening stores at a fast clip, including airport locations like one at Chicago O’Hare.

But startups are being very creative about the in-store experience. Typically, the goal is not to sell products, but to give the customer an entertaining and exciting experience that will make them more loyal to the brand in the future.