A California outdoor-living start-up seeks to expand ITS Neighborhood Showrooms.
A California start-up and maker of outdoor furniture says it plans to expand its footprint to more than 1,000 Neighborhood Showroom locations in 2021.
What’s a Neighborhood Showroom? Essentially, it’s someone’s backyard.
Santa Monica-based Outer is a direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture brand founded in 2019 and best known for its Outer Shell furniture cover. In January, the company announced a $10.5 million financing deal that it says will lead to expanded product lines and Neighborhood Showroom growth.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the model is the Neighborhood Showroom concept. This feature allows prospective customers to explore the products in the backyards of existing Outer customers, called “Hosts.”
Why would someone turn their backyard into a showroom for an outdoor living brand? First there’s the 10% discount on Outer products for those who apply for showroom status. After that, Outer describes benefits such as “payments for virtual tours, payments for in-person customer showings, early access to new products and more.”
There are more than 100 Neighborhood Showrooms listed on the company’s website. Clearly, the pandemic has affected the concept. Currently, all showroom visits are virtual, but Hosts continue to conduct showings through video or over the phone.
The company’s latest financing was led by Sequoia Capital China and backed by a number of existing and new stakeholders, the company announced. It will enable Outer to expand their product line beyond outdoor sofas and rugs, strengthen their commitment to sustainability through material development, and grow their innovative showroom footprint to more than a thousand Neighborhood Showroom locations in 2021.