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Can Information Systems Restore Profitability to Restoration Hardware?

In: Business and Management

Submitted By nevnev
Words 2386
Pages 10
Restoration Hardware is a retailer of furniture, hardware, and home accessories such as bathroom fixtures and decorative furnishings. The company is based in California; it started operations in 1979 and incorporated in 1987. The company sells through multiple channels: a network of 103 retail stores and six outlet stores across the United States and Canada, a print mail-order catalog, and its Web site. Restoration Hardware is a major player in an industry that includes competitors such as Pottery Barn, Pier 1, and Williams Sonoma. Restoration employs 3,800 workers, 1,600 of those full-time.
Restoration's business strategy puts the company in a unique sector of the marketplace. Restoration focused from the start on merchandise that honors classic America. The company's original furniture and fixtures were designed to match the d'cor and form of older houses. Today, when you walk into a Restoration Hardware store, the merchandise clearly evokes images of the past. Many products, such as portable record players or wooden toys, are intent on inspiring feelings of tradition, if not nostalgia, in older generations of customers. The younger generations may recognize these products from reruns of old television shows and movies set in the times of their parents and grandparents. Many of these products are difficult to find elsewhere and they are very appealing. Up front, the company knows what it wants to do and has maintained a consistent vision. According to Ed Weller, an analyst at ThinkEquity Partners, "When you go to the stores, it's clear that Restoration Hardware has something customers want." Many of Restoration's top executives come from merchandising backgrounds.
A significant portion of Restoration's revenue stream comes from its direct-to-customer ventures. Circulation of the mail-order catalog increased by 1 percent in 2005, with 61 percent of the catalogs…...

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