Showrooms in the new normal
Some things never change.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, people continue to crave for experience. When it comes to shopping for instance, there are still those who decide on purchases with their senses. Cars, furniture, homes—these are just some of the items many of us still wish to experience first-hand before buying.
To cope with this continuous demand, showrooms all over the world implement measures to ensure the safety of their clients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them have adjusted to the standards of the new normal to continue giving clients memorable experiences. Here are some of those that have adapted well to the needs of the times, proving that life can go on even in the middle of the pandemic.
Transforming shops into museums
While Tupperware opened its pop-up location in New York City before the COVID-19 pandemic, the showroom serves as an ideal precedent to the new normal retail experience.
To celebrate its 73rd anniversary, the company opened a temporary store in the Big Apple called the TuppSoho in November 2019. The pop-up shop is unique as it features many of the company’s best-selling products in a museum-like environment. Instead of numerous plastic containers lining up rows and rows of shelves, visitors are greeted by display stands featuring only a few items.
The design and aesthetics of each item are emphasized by the surrounding space, and visitors are discouraged from touching the products. If a person wants to purchase items, he or she informs a staff member who lists down the products on a table. The collection and packaging of the products are done in the back room. Visitors simply wait for the staff in the store and are then presented with a reusable tote containing their purchases.
The experience reduces the need for contact and elevates Tupperware to a high-end, sophisticated level. This strategy can be adapted to the new normal, providing a unique yet safe experience for visitors to buy kitchen organization and household products.
Utilizing digital, physical solutions
A fourth-generation, family-owned company, Bender is a Connecticut-based group that offers decorative plumbing, kitchen, as well as bath finishes and fixtures. It has been around since 1949 and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic shows why it managed to be in the business for so long.
Bender has several showrooms and parts counter distributed throughout the state. These have been vital in the way it conducts its business. COVID-19 closed these showrooms temporarily, but today they are open to in-person visits subject to some protocols.
For one, all visits must be done via appointment. A showroom consultant only becomes available during a scheduled visit. All visitors to the facility must wear a mask and social distancing is enforced at all times. Thorough cleaning is conducted after each client visit, meaning all products that were touched during the visit are given due attention when it comes to sanitation.
As a more cautious approach, the company has also created a 3D model of one of its showrooms. This allows interested clients to tour its facilities online. Unlike an in-person visit, this digital tour is available anytime online. Clients can jot down ideas and pick out a few products virtually, before consulting with store representatives using various videoconferencing platforms.
By merging digital solutions with physical safety measures, the Bender group has managed to continue offering its services amid the pandemic. Its showrooms showcase not only its products, but also the company’s readiness to adapt to people’s needs.
Turning visits into exclusive, personal affairs
In our country, showrooms continue to be in use, especially by the real estate industry. While many companies have migrated to virtual tours and consultations, there are those that still recognize the impact of first-person experience on consumers.
Ortigas Land is one such group that continues to offer the thrill of experience, as it recently opened a new showroom in Estancia, Capitol Commons. The new facility is the company’s biggest showroom yet, showcasing model units of its up-and-coming premier residential developments namely Maven and Empress, both of which are located also within Capitol Commons.
The facility features a posh visitors’ lounge where clients can wait comfortably for consultants. A gallery of scale models can be easily accessed from the area, featuring Ortigas Land’s most recent projects. Partitioned transaction areas allow clients and consultants to conduct business privately, accentuated by decorative lighting, plush seating and a panoramic view of the Capitol Commons estate.
Visitors of the Estancia Showroom will be able to experience bare and dressed-up one-bedroom units of Maven. They can also see the one- and two-bedroom model units of the Empress. Each model unit reveals how Ortigas Land units can be designed to suit various needs and personalities, emphasizing generous spaces and convenient home layouts.
In each visit, which is strictly scheduled by appointment, new normal protocols are always enforced. Temperatures are checked and visitors need to sign health declaration forms. Social distancing and wearing of masks are implemented at all times. Ortigas Land also ensures that there will only be a maximum of 10 people inside the showroom at any given time.
The future of showrooms
While many of us continue to stay at home to avoid the COVID-19 virus, it is comforting to think that the world has adjusted to help us continue with our lives. Many public places have evolved to accommodate new normal standards. Showrooms, in particular, have been greatly affected by the quarantines and restrictions, but they have proven themselves adaptable and enduring.
So if you’re keen to feel the thrill of experience again, don’t hesitate to visit a showroom. The facility will be a delight to your senses—plus they will help you decide on purchases, especially those that require substantial investment. Pandemic or not, showrooms are here to stay and to offer the best of life’s experiences.
Sources: Hbr.org, Benderplumbing.com, Atortigas.com, FB Page of Tupperware US & Canada
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