Restoration Hardware CEO Gary Friedman has targeted strategies to enhance the customer experience.
While 2016 was a year of transformation and transition, 2017 “will be a year of execution, architecture, and cash flow at RH,” Friedman noted in April.
One of the big opportunities to enhance and “control” the customer experience is home delivery.
“We believe it’s important for us to have more control than less control as it relates to the customer experience,” Friedman said at the company’s recent second-quarter earnings call. “And if you think about the home delivery industry and the architecture of third-party home delivery operations, they are really not architected for the luxury market. I think you’ve got to go back and say no one has really scaled this business today. And we’re really the only one that took the luxury market with any kind of scale and actually any opportunity to even take this on and, because of our scale today, we believe from a cost point of view … what is your revenue benefit you are going to have from having a significantly better delivery experience and customer experience.”
Friedman said that today Restoration Hardware has two markups in the process.
“We have a third-party delivery company that is also hiring third-party truckers,” he said. “So you really have an opportunity and everybody is making money, right? People are not losing money doing this, of course. We like how all the metrics look. At the end of the day, we’re testing it in one market and we are getting ready to go to two markets to test it. We are in the early innings of testing it, but we like what we see so far. We’re building a very special brand, a very special customer experience in our galleries and across all channels, and we believe that in-home delivery experience is an opportunity to elevate the brand and continue to differentiate the brand long-term.”
Friedman is proud of Restoration Hardware’s long-term vision, which he spoke about in a letter he wrote on the company’s website.
“Helen Keller once said, ‘The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision.’ At RH, we concur and believe vision is everything. It is the light that removes the darkness, the answer inside every problem, the ability to imagine a better way, a brighter day. Vision ignites the human spirit, generating hope and inspiration that can fill a person with passion, give a project a purpose, and turn a company into a cause. We also believe vision has to come from within. It doesn’t come from focus groups, surveys, or outside consultants. It’s about searching, studying, listening, and learning. Vision requires thinking until it hurts, so you can see what others can’t see, and do what others can’t do. Vision is about destroying today’s reality to create tomorrow’s future.”